Islet have been a steady-but-mercurial force since the Blog Era, yet they still somehow sound like gloriously naive upstarts on the cusp of their first record. Their upcoming LP Soft Fascination – out September 29 via Fire Records – is in fact the Welsh group’s fourth long player. If new single “River Body” is any indication, Islet’s whimsical ways haven’t dulled one bit.
Sounding like Cate Le Bon fronting a math rock band, “River Body” strikes as both a celebration and lamentation of our relationship with water: in its scarcity and abundance, and perhaps its ability to be both a nurturing and destructive natural force. Cryptic lyrics such as ‘this needs re-wiggling’ seem to add to the overall charm. Belying the song’s absurdism, the music video gives “River Body” a somewhat tragic extra dimension; the band members perform the song in the Wye/Afon Gwy, one of the longest and most polluted rivers in the UK.
According to lead vocalist Emma, Soft Fascination find Islet aiming for a “less pretty” and “more direct” approach to recording. “The album is named ‘Soft Fascination’ after that state of mind where focus drifts. Attention is diffused and the mind can wander. It’s about letting yourself go, being part of something that’s much bigger than ourselves.” Indeed, you can try and make sense of all the chaos and confusion the world curveballs at you, but you can also become a potent conduit for them; and it seems Islet are all-in on the latter objective.
Preorder Soft Fascinationhere, and listen to “River Body” below.