Review of Island Line's self-titled album.
Island Line is the creation of Hazel Sainsbury, Ian Kellet, Alex Knell and Liam MacManus. A UK folk band with a feeling of British Summertime to them, their sound compels the listener to feel that mixed emotion we get of happiness and sadness, that ebbs and flows like the sunshine through the clouds. They are a band that plays lots of live gigs currently up and down the UK and set to play at a few more festivals this summer.
Island Line's self titled debut is a conventional Indie Folk album with a distinctive lazy pace to it. It's a bit like trying to wander through a crammed park in the sunshine whilst deliriously stoned, urging yourself to pick up the pace to get out of there quickly until eventually you give into the speed your restricted too and allow yourself to get lost in it. Didn't Know How, Sweetheart and Wake Me Up all have a steady melody and delicate pace that sound slightly dreamy, you do want them to go a little bit deeper and dare I say it slightly quicker in parts, but it's a fitting frustration to have when listening to them. It conjures up the frustration in a natural organic way, it's not like the tracks aren't moving along but you feel like they are taking their time, to use the cliché stopping to smell the roses would seem fitting.
Punchbag has a raw guitar sound to it complimented by Hazels Nico tipped vocals. She plays nicely with her nonchalant delivery and manages to not sound too unnatural. There are tracks on here with the pace of the more sprightly Belle and Sebastian tunes but nothing as intensely brilliant as Expectations from their album Tigermilk. But it's a safe comparison for Island Line. Which if you didn't know, is the name of the ferry that goes out to the Isle of Wight and made my research hell to do. alas I digress. Pay Like These and Another Place also benefit from a little more purpose in their tempo and have the sun has got its hat on moments used in my previously metaphor. The problem I have with Island Line is that I did struggle to not find myself listening and getting a little bored. I like their sound, and I do like this album but I can't imagine it being something long lasting. The very fact that this album has a summer feel to it and their sound is distinctive British Summer festival Folk makes them a little too throw away for me. We never enjoy summer as much as we all hope we will and eventually it becomes a montage of failed attempts at fun in the sun. Same goes for Island Line I'm afraid. Totally disposable and ultimately not quite as good as we hoped.