The genre-defying Welsh group define their vision with a breath-taking new album, Islet's 'Soft Fascination' is an ecstatic experience in music, an explosion of emotion subsumed in sound. The album is filled with high energy cadence and meditations on collective joy, a balancing act underpinned with glorious melodies and Emma Daman Thomas' evocative vocals that swirl in the symphonic surf. Self-produced, and with instruments recorded live with few overdubs, the effect is direct, it veers from the upfront and immediate to the spacious and challenging.
The first half is intentionally fast, intense, almost relentless. The second half is more spacious, as the album unravels and becomes more hazy. There is excitement and fascination and a willingness to show a lack of restraint in realising it, traversing hailstorms, hedgerows, broken promises and poisoned prayers; constantly breathing real life all in. Featuring standout singles: the pulsating 'Euphoria', the liberating flow of energy on 'River Body' and the recurring conundrum of choice of 'Hat Person', 'Soft Fascination' is an album of rare beauty.