Amongst the gifts you hopefully receive this Christmas Day, we suggest you drop big hints that one of them should be the new single from UK band In Isolation. Released on the 25th, Parlance is a riveting post punk/new wave inspired anthem for ears and emotions taken from the band’s upcoming debut album A Certain Fractal Light. To kill two birds with one stone, we are going to dive into the full-length right now, a release showing that the single is no flash in the pan in great nostalgia seeded sound and fresh imagination.
Hailing from Nottingham, In Isolation emerged in 2009 openly drawing on inspirations found within eighties post-punk and new wave. Equally though, their sound has seeds in the indie flavours of the following decade and more, with influences on the trio’s invention found in artists ranging from The Smiths, Buzzcocks, and David Bowie to Killing Joke, Editors, and Bloc Party. The years have already seen In Isolation stir strong attention, their well-received singles Film Noir Scandal and Berlin making potent impressions with the latter appearing in the 2013 Steve Best directed movie Zombie Hood alongside the track The Wrong Girl, which In Isolation performed as themselves in the opening club scene of the film. A host of other appearances for their music in movie and TV productions followed whilst live the past years have seen the band share stages with the likes of Republica, Spear Of Destiny, The Chapman Family, and Trailer Trash Traceys amongst a great many and play festivals like Out The Box with Jake Bugg and DV8 alongside Gary Numan.
Having spent fair amount of 2015 writing and creating A Certain Fractal Light, In Isolation is poised to prod even bigger spotlights and appetites with their excellent Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Babes In Toyland, Paolo Nutini) recorded album and before that through Parlance, the second single from and opener to its striking adventure. The song opens with sultry caresses of guitar quickly joined by a great throaty bass tone which quickly reveals an irresistible hook all of its own. Its appearance in turn sparks the guitars to spring new zeal and colour in their enterprise; it all framed by the hypnotic beats and percussion of drummer Tony Ghost. As the vocals of Ryan Swift join the mix, his and John Berry’s guitars still casting a tangy web of temptation, there is a great feel of The Teardrop Explodes to the song but equally a pungent scent of something fresh and solely imaginative to the band with the perpetually snarling bassline the added cream.
The outstanding start makes way for the album’s title track and a similarly potent seducing of ears and appetite. Keys and guitars lay the initial tempting, warm melodies kissing the senses with a China Crisis meets Spandau Ballet like elegance as darker hues bring greater depth to the track through the bass and atmospheric shadows, both skilfully tempering the glow of the song. It is hard not to be swiftly bewitched by the familiar yet unique proposal and further excited by its successors Not Noticing and Truth Or Dare. The first of the two enters on an electronic prowl but with a bold saunter to its gait which is quickly wrapped in a siren-esque harmony. The ever delicious gnarly tone of the bass is there tempting in quick time too, offering its raw bait amongst the just as magnetic hooks of guitar and voice as exotic hues add to the great drama and contagion of the encounter. There is plenty going on to be grabbed by including an electro suggestiveness which perfectly colludes with the dark theatre of guitar and bass in a persuasion lying somewhere between The The and US band Post Adolescence.
From one striking track to another as Truth Or Dare, the first single from the album released a few weeks back, takes over to reveal a body similar to that of the track A Certain Fractal Light but one soon casting its own emotive charm and melodic imagination to swiftly seduce and enlist eager participation from the listener before Elder Statesman engages ears with another imaginative fusion of dark and light soaked textures. As all songs within the album, familiar hues and influences are bold but woven into an evocative proposition creating its own unique character, The Letter straight after, with its rawer tenacious rock ‘n’ roll heart and enveloping virulence, providing another aspect to the potent variety within the post punk inspired melodic tapestry of the album.
Strange Thoughts keeps ears inflamed next with its catchy intent and richly textured romance, female vocals reappearing to add to the resourcefully captivating song. Keys and bass alone make the broadest contrasts as they stand side by side, their union wrapped in the excellent blend of vocals and sonic flames that spring from the pen and invention of In Isolation with compelling ease.
The equally fiery but energetically controlled Ghostburn, its body a close but unique enough design to that of its predecessor, and the classically shaped Gods both keep ears treated, the latter a reflective croon merging gothic overtones and provocative melancholy with poetic melodies. Each again show another facet to the In Isolation sound and invention, before Mist brings the album to a fine close with its own individual heart bred serenade built on a lively canvas of varying and contrasting elements.
Released in March 2016, A Certain Fractal Light is a glorious fusion of old and modern imagination, nostalgia and originality uniting for a highly enjoyable waltz of light and dark adventure. Treat yourself this Christmas with Parlance we say and then really go for it a few weeks later; the single will be a big enough persuasion for deciding on the latter anyway.
Parlance is released December 25th with A Certain Fractal Light out March 2016, both via the band’s own imprint Aye Aye Records.
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Pete RingMaster 16/12/2015
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