ISLAND – Feels Like Air
Alternative Rock | Dream Pop
ISLAND, an alternative four-piece hailing from London, release their tempestuous debut album Feels Like Air. Imbued with a characteristically raw, almost melancholic style counterbalanced with sparkling refrains, ISLAND have already established a definitive identity and have done so with notable conviction and confidence.
Their first track, ‘Ride’ begins with haunting, yet melodic guitar work, which is met with the lead vocals: hoarse with their vehemence, dulcet yet still immediate, they bring to mind the sound of the rasp of the morning after.
The band also adopt synthetic elements in their music that are smattered throughout Feels Like Air. Their track ‘Try’ uses this mellow reverberation and couples it with casual guitar and drums sections. This languor they seem to create so effortlessly with their music runs true throughout the whole album; even ‘The Day I Die’, arguably the song which carries the greatest gravitas, is still marked with that same nonchalance. The only thing that deviates from this, are the vocals which, as impassioned, ripped and broken as they are, inject the only sense of intensity in the entire album.
Each of the twelve songs on this album, however, are almost indistinguishable from one another. Once you have heard one, you have heard them all. ISLAND are certainly “easy-listening” – so easy in fact, that you don’t seem to really notice it at all. My usual structure for an album review such as this would be to address and evaluate each song, but to do so here seems almost a futile task. I’m avid to see some kind of variation and divergence from ISLAND, but they seem unable to deviate from the one style they have mastered here; they do it immaculately, but the over-saturation is stifling and leaves the album, in my view, bland.