FEELS LIKE AIR
“Making music that feels natural,” smile London four-piece ISLAND as one. “That’s the most important thing in the world to us.”
No surprise then that this is a band whose history is characterised by old friendships, close bonds
and almost telepathic mutual understanding; their music a combination of influences ranging from trad-folk to high-octane punk rock and encompassing everything in-between; their rapid rise through the underground of the organic, fan-led sort that most bands can only look over at with envious eyes.
Forming as teenagers when frontman Rollo Doherty’s acoustic bedroom project was treated to the boisterous backing of guitarist Jack Raeder, bassist James Wolfe and drummer Toby Richards in a dingy windowless practice room where they began to painstakingly shape a sound which combined darkly twisting instrumental with a sweetly melodic song-writing nous that belied their age.
The quartet released their debut EP ‘Girl’ in late 2015 and it shimmering refrains turned heads almost immediately. First single ‘Stargazer’ exploding onto Spotify’s much-coveted New Music Friday playlist and drawing attention for fans both domestically and internationally – to date the song has over 2 million plays on Spotify alone.
At the same time, the band’s live show, fearsomely tight and effervescently energetic through years of playing together week in, week out since their youth, sky-rocketed in popularity. Over the course of little more than a year, they sold out Dalston’s 150 capacity Victoria, Hackney’s 350 capacity Oslo, King’s Crosses 800 capacity Scala and headlined Charing Cross’s iconic Heaven, not to mention shows at The Great Escape, London Calling and Reeperbahn. All this achieved while unsigned and maintaining a fastidiously DIY ethic.
Now, with the help of New York label Frenchkiss, the band are gearing up to release their hotly anticipated debut album, due in early 2018 and entitled ‘Feels Like Air’. It is resolutely a record which encapsulates everything the quartet have perfected thus far, whilst extending their dynamic range and reach further than ever.
Indeed, ‘Feels Like Air’s rolling melancholy is expertly deployed, an album which ably bottles the lightening of ISLAND’s imperious live shows; recorded all in one room in just two weeks with sparing use of overdubs and no click track, it’s a sonic document that’s all about feel, all about capturing four musicians at their most unprocessed and uninhibited.
“We’re incredibly proud of the album,” beams Wolfe “and we already can’t wait to get out and play it for as many people as we can.” “We’re a very outward looking band,” nods Richards, “and the aim is to keep pushing the horizons to be as broad as we can make them.”
And having already made such a stellar impact, and with their singular creative vision at the centre of it all, ISLAND look set to be stars not just of the next couple of years, but for a very long time to come.
All of it, like it’s the most natural thing in the world.
PR: Lisa Gottheil @ Grandstand Media