Islet + Champion Lover + Easter
Rising seemingly out of nowhere, Welsh quartet Islet initially shunned the usual route of gaining exposure through social networking sites and the internet in general, preferring instead that their profile be built around word of mouth, their incredible live performances, and their own ‘zine The Isness. Formed in 2009 when brothers Mark and John Thomas started jamming with Emma Daman after their previous band Attack + Defend had played dates with Daman’s, the trio decided they wanted to be in a band where anything was possible. After a handful of live shows, they brought in former Frederick Stanley Star member Alex Williams to play guitar and drums, and to share vocal duties.
Even with their lack of internet presence, the band started to generate interest on blogs and in fanzines with their live shows, which featured all four members swapping instruments, creating extended prog jams, and half the group usually ending up in the audience. After a show in Swansea, two fans decided that the band should have a website, and so that night started a fan site that would become Islet’s first proper web exposure.
In January 2010, Turnstile Records released number six of their Bento series which featured Islet’s first recorded material, an indescribable mix which takes its influences from the likes of Deerhoof, Gang Gang Dance, Os Mutantes, and Pavement. A feature in the NME’s Radar section earned the band more exposure, and in early 2010, they recorded their first mini LP, Celebrate This Place. Managing to put their chaotic live sound onto record, the album — recorded in a Mid-Wales barn by the band itself — received positive reviews and saw the group embark on another tour of the U.K., playing various festivals including Truck, Latitude, and Green Man. October 2010 saw them release Wimmy — their second mini-album — which came only four months after their first. Recorded once again by the band itself, Wimmy helped Islet reach an even wider audience and round out 2010 with another U.K. headline tour.
Their full-length debut album Illuminated People landed in January 2012.