Isola presents a striking view of the world on their 2018 self-titled release. On a broad level, the band operates within a relatively familiar post-rock framework consisting of lengthy song structures and the careful unwrapping of melodic concepts.
That’s just the surface level though. While when it comes to that aspect, there’s on-point execution, focusing solely on it misses the full picture.
When it comes to the details, Isola has packed in concepts that just might make you wonder why you’ve not heard something like this already. There’s a thread of dissonance and harshness throughout the work, with a focus on beat driven song construction at times and also an all around bitter but ambient driving sense that shows up. These aspects ensure that the band’s music sticks out – they’ve taken familiar and perhaps even welcome song construction methods and turned them into something entirely – and excitingly – new.
The “harshness” never actually gets too harsh or overwhelming. Instead, the metaphorical environment that the band has placed their listeners in simply remains dark. Isola is a dusk-y work, proving to have twists and turns and various paths to go down, hardly all of which are easily understood, which is a welcome feature.
While some “post rock” bands focus on mostly guitar driven melody that swirls around the listener like a cloud, Isola cuts past those taking in their work and leaves them haunted by their striking textures. Their take isn’t just dark and grim, though. The path laid down for the listener is instead enthralling, presenting them with an adventurous undertaking if they’re so inclined. There’s an important depth to the work stretching off in all directions. There’s material to explore “in the shadows” that despite its nature remains inviting, not condemning.
Listen below via Bandcamp.