Island of Love – ‘Songs of Love’
British indie rockers Island of Love have shared the first taste of their upcoming EP Songs of Love with the droning and fuzzy title track.
The band represent the first signing for Third Man Records London, the UK branch of Jack White’s record company/vinyl revival depository. “I grew up a working class kid in Ohio, coming of age in the early ’90s,” says Third Man co-founder Ben Swank. “Did Island of Love’s songs immediately strike a note of familiarity to the heartstrings of this former teenaged lo-fi obsessed anglophile? Yes they did. But it was no mere nostalgia (a ridiculous concept if ever there was one…).”
“‘Songs of Love’ was a collage of pretty wacky riffs Karim would play as guitar warmups until writing with the full band,” the group explain in a press release. “Dealing with feelings of inadequacy, the lyrics shine a light on a way most of us felt before picking up an instrument, and the voice it’s since been able to give us. To have Third Man show an interest has been a surreal privilege, to say the least.”
‘Songs of Love’ is a strange concoction: the backing is mostly standard indie rock, with some cool guitar lines and tight arrangements from the group. But the central vocals are so obscured and low in the mix that it’s hard to hear what they’re doing at all. That has to be a deliberate choice, and I’m always game for a little lo-fi scuzz. If nothing else, it had me listening closely and returning back to the song a few times to try and parse the lyrics out.
This is maybe a little closer to that horrible damning term “post-punk” than I’m willing to admit, but ‘Songs of Love’ and Island of Love themselves have a lot more punch and a lot less mope than most of the other bands in the form. The DNA of punk, shoegaze, and noise rock shine through over the gloom, and the results are refreshingly eclectic.
Check out the live video for ‘Songs of Love’ down below. The Songs of Love EP is set for a March 18th release.