Thursday, July 15, 2021

ISLAND Electrify Their Audience With 'Yesterday Park'

Alt-rock quartet ISLAND brings electrifying instrumentals, psychedelic sounds and copious nostalgia with their second album ‘Yesterday Park’.

Hailing from London, ISLAND has released their latest album ‘Yesterday Park’. Consisting of Rollo Doherty (vocalist), Jack Raeder (Guitarist), James Wolfe (Bassist) and Toby Richards (Drummer), ‘Yesterday Park’ is the quartet's second album, seeing them push boundaries and bring a refreshing set of tracks just in time for summer's peak. 

It was recorded in a “semi locked-down London” in the Summer of 2020, in collaboration with producer Mikko Gordon (Thom Yorke), and now the day has come where we can sink our teeth into it.

Vocalist Doherty’s stand-out vocals can be recognised from any ISLAND track. ‘Octopus’ combines these vocals with an ethereal instrumental and rolling percussion, bringing strong beach vibes and the perfect start to the album. Following on from this is one of the heavier tracks from the album ‘Everyone’s the Same’, bringing with it a mind-bending mix of driving guitars, infectious percussion and resonant vocals.

According to the band's Twitter, the album is one “about nostalgia and younger days” and this is reflected both in upbeat ‘Do You Remember the Times’ and the more psychedelic sounding ‘Young Days’. Lyrics such as “where did my young days go / this world is for the kids now” and later, “where did my young days go? / this war is for the kids now” which highlight both the happy memories that come with youth and later on recognition for the battles many youngsters will face. 

We Used to Talk' comes just ahead of the middle of the album, followed on by the title track ‘Yesterday Park’, the shortest on the album which brings to the table a combination of experimental electronics and rhythmic percussion; an ideal middle track before the second half commences.


By Your Side’ and ‘The Lines We Follow’ set the scene for the rest of the album which calms the tempo further. Romantic ballad ‘When I Gave You my Heart’ is another notably reminiscent track from the album, and it brings a sound that every album needs. It tells the story of a trip to the park with a lover, through lyrics such as “Sometimes I’m stuck in white and black / Memories bring colour back” and “I’d hold my hands up to the sky and tell you we could fly”. ‘This Part of Town’ succeeds this track, almost carrying on the previous ‘story’ and talking of disappearing together. The powerful vocals work well alongside the relaxed tones of the instrumental which gains momentum as the track goes on. 

My Brother’ comes as the penultimate track on the album and further highlights the lyrical talent that comes with ISLAND’s discography. There is a level of poetry that has been polished down to a tee throughout this album, and this track only solidifies this fact. As one of the more vocally-driven tunes on the album, and one of my personal favourites, it is no surprise that this was another of the tracks released as a single prior to the album. 

Yesterday Park’ impresses from start to finish. As the tracklist goes on, and the tunes become more familiar there is a clear story to be told of nostalgia, romance, and adventures. The album is one that starts a new era for the band, who relinquished their prior self-production duties to work with Gordon. It is an album that demands to be heard in its entirety, and one I would push anyone hunting for their new favourite indie-rock band to give a listen. 

Emily Robbins-Pugh 


Image: Yesterday Park Official Album Cover

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