Thursday 22 April 2021

LISTEN: Low Island - 'If You Could Have It All Again'

It's no secret how much I adore Low Island and I am delighted to share a little write-up for their debut album. If You Could Have It All Again was released last week via the band's own label Emotional Interference. Recorded, produced and engineered by the band themselves at their makeshift studio in rural France, the record is very much a DIY project and I am so so proud of my pals for the piece of work they've each put so much into. Carlos, Jamie, Felix & Jacob are stars and I'm so excited to see the journey this record takes them on.

I've had a stream of this in my inbox for a couple of weeks and have been revelling in the joy of it on my commutes to work. Since the release on Friday I've listened to very little else. Longer album reviews in the traditional sense take up a lot of time which I don't really have at the moment - I've recently headed back to work and keeping on top of the site alongside a full time job is difficult, but consider this post a *very* strong recommendation for you to wrap your ears around the new record. (Thank me later!)

The release of their debut record makes me reminiscent of my first days as a fan of the band... looking back, I'm sure that I must have generally discovered their music through the Oxford scene, but a specific gig cemented my love for them. Rushing across Brighton to Patterns with team Tigmus to make sure we were front and centre for their set at The Great Escape in 2017 - it was incredible. I've somehow only managed to see them once more since, at a London headline later that year, but have been completely in love with their output since then. I can not waaaaaait to catch them live next to see just how much their live show has progressed since the oh so distant days of 2017. 

While we're all very aware that recent singles Don't Let The Light In, Feel Young Again and Who's Having The Greatest Time are absolute bops, I've enjoyed getting to know the unreleased tracks on the record. Currently, What Do You Stand For is a stand-out for me, and Momentary is easily one of my favourite tracks of the year. A perfect example, within a track, of the contrasts that exist in the band's music more generally. From a tender opening, layers of sound build into what is sure to be a dance-floor filler. The production all the way through the record is exquisite. 

As someone who feels a little bit like I'm stagnating in my mid-twenties (not helped by the pandemic, that's for sure) having come home after university and finding myself in a string of retail jobs, the themes through the record are all too relatable. At times painfully so, but mostly in a comforting way, as in In Your Arms, an ode to Carlos' childhood bedroom. The record 'takes stock of a twenties filled with false starts, heartbreak and cyclical conflict, and carves a path towards a better decade to come.' 

Carlos describes the album as a product of "ten years of trying to make things work - in music, but also in life, a litany of romantic disasters that have coloured the last ten years of my life." He describes the character he inhabits loosely in the record looking back and saying "have I just really fucked this up? Have I made a royal mess of the last ten years?" It's sorrowful but there is also a lot of hope - dark and light, good and bad. The record exists on contrast. It's real life. It's raw. And it's so SO damn good. 

You should most definitely buy/stream the record and grab tour tickets here.

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