Bright, breezy and at times utterly irresistible, Off the Isle of somewhere is their fist album from Huddersfield five-piece Fishing 4 Compliments. Eleven tracks of upbeat and optimistic folk-pop, there’s a lot to fall in love with over the course of the record’s 35 minutes.
From the rich instrumentation of tracks such as “Drunken Tree” or the understated honesty of the likes of “Wild Bird”, there’s an elegant simplicity at play across the course of the record that gives away the band’s inherent musicality. This is something betrayed further still by the wide array of instruments at play also.
From sitars and strings, synths and an army of acoustic guitars, each instrument merges together to create something greater than the some of its parts; a rich and warm tapestry that often feels like the perfect antidote to what’s already been a dark and dismal winter.
That said, repeat listens certainly find much of Off the Isle of Somewhere early charm wearing thin, with many of the tracks beginning to merge together, with little to distinguish themselves from one to the next. It’s a shame, as when it hits home, Off The Isle of Somewhere is fantastic.
“Tomorrow Who Knows” for instance, is an early highlight that loses nothing regardless of how many times one hears it. Propulsive and slightly psychedelic, it’s a hazy and hypnotic offering, unlike anything else across the record, it builds steadily towards a triumphant conclusion. Of course, the obvious highlight across its entirety would be Eileen’s vocal delivery, without which much of the emotion so easily and effortlessly conveyed.
While Off The Isle of Somewhere isn’t a record without its faults, it’s a record that bubbles with potential, and when it delivers, it really delivers. Both rich and warm, yet somehow understated in its delivery, there’s a charming simplicity on its surface, yet scratch a little beneath and you’ll find a record that’s at times flawed, but otherwise well worth giving a listen.
Album is produced by the Dunwells with additional programming by The Dunwells.