Despite how it can sometimes seems, UK bands don’t always follow the same lazy tradition (The Beatles, Sex Pistols, The Cure, The Smiths or Oasis) of their contemporaries. It’s a relief as conservatism has never inspired creativity, either in music or in politics. Cardiff quartet Islet are not into fancy jackets, romantic-drunk-loser lyrics, anthemic riffs or even cold skinny depressing tunes. Instead they are far out and seemingly used to running in poppy fields and summoning the great Valhalla for their own end of the world.
More than psychedelic, Islet’s music is primal and instinctive, with bursting drums defining the pace of your blood flow (sweaty krautrock on ‘Libra Man’, freaky noisy-pop à la Deerhoof on ‘This Fortune’) and moves in chameleon ways between alcoholic chillout and collective fury. They don’t even take themselves seriously (the gliding and clownish ‘Shores’) and when they do try to sound like more grounded bands, it’s like Vampire Weekend taking acid.
Illuminated People is never what you’d imagine and often what you wished for: adventurous and original. It seems like the free spirits of art-pop (Animal Collective, Gang Gang Dance, Bear in Heaven) finally have a British brother to hang out with and he’s quite the turbulent sibling.