I’m really asking. We all know how saturated the music industry is these days and there is no shortage of modern bands that defiantly turn the nose to genre confinements. Low Island, however, spark some flames of fresh excitement in a listener. They are an undercover electric storm. Their sound combines penetrating electronic with the slickness of slap bass and the intensity of indie guitar. And before you can blink they’ve nailed a deeply touching emotional ballad.
Having only appeared to the world in the last few years; it’s a surprise just how established this quartet from Oxford feel when they step on stage. Carlos Posada, the band frontman, is dressed in something a very mature gentleman might wear but he somehow still manages to look charismatic in this pink, retro ensemble. The played in the basement venue of Broadcast, a trendy bar near Glasgow’s city centre. The space was intimate and the crowd was a bit bare highlighting Low Island muted rumble in Scotland. But I do not doubt that these guys have what a band’s needs to delight an entire audience at a sold-out if they had more promotion up here.
In their opening tracks ‘We Drift Apart’ the audience get a starter of the night they are about to get lost in. This song is effortlessly cool, cold and empowering with its hard edge. During ‘Hot Air’ multi-instrumentalist Jamie Jay’s vocal fall a bit flat and slightly out of key; although every other vocal performance from Jay was absolutely stunning during the rest of the set.
‘That Kind of Love’ is hard, synth-heavy track. It’s one that the listener can easily become completely absorbed in. It transports the listener to a place where they feel like a King or Queen. Posada throws himself into the performance of this track wholeheartedly and with the amount of vigorous thrusting he did at his keys, I’ll be surprised if he does not find himself with a mini-keyboard before not too long.
In January of this year, they released the single ‘In Personal.’ At Broadcast, Low Island’s performance of it was elevating. The track has an incredibly classic sound to its vocals but, alongside some jumpy electronic layering, it becomes futuristic throwback to the past. Jacob Lively’s performance is sublime the whole night but particularly at this point. He looks so engrossed and in love with what he is doing.
Closing the night with the emotional ballad ‘Tomorrow’ was a brave choice. They risked a negative reaction to a distinct drop in energy. But, in fact, it proved to be a superb decision as it brought the crowd softly back to reality. It was like waking up from a pleasant dream, with the sun streaming in, and no rush to have to get up.
Low Island have musical talent in truckloads. They give the air of a band forming their own path on route to somewhere incredible. Personally, I could hear some of their most synth focused music being knocked up another notch with the addition of an alto or tenor saxophone. Regardless, I envision demand to see Low Island growing and growing. Seeing these more intimate sets is must for fans of incredibly dynamic, often electronic, music and, for god’s sake, starting following online.