Hailing from Norwich, The Islas is a quartet breeding a new type of alternative rock. Fusing the sounds of Kaiser Chiefs and Razorlight, the group’s sound is energetic, engaging, exciting but also very sincere. Formed in 2017, it did not take long for Nathan Baverstock (vocals and guitar), Ross Allen (lead guitar), Granger Wittering (bass and backing vocals) and Ed Chalu (drums) to gain interest from notable publications like BBC Introducing, local music blogs and television.
As with many bands, the Coronavirus outbreak forced The Islas to relook their plans for 2020 and caused a few setbacks. However, not ones to take things sitting down, Baverstock and Allen took the time to collaborate remotely by sending Logic projects back and forth. Making the best of a bad situation, the lads continued writing and created ‘Close’.
Similar to previous material, ‘Close’ is an expression of personal experiences and how they affected the band members at the time. As a lyrically sombre and rather poignant track, ‘Close’ touches on issues of homosexuality, religious and societal perceptions of sexual orientation, and the confusion of questioning certain values.
“‘Close’ was constructed from a previous experience I had as a nine-year-old in middle-school. My brother and I were in assembly while one of our senior Christian teachers was talking about the bible and homosexuality – and ultimately trying to convince our young minds as to how it is a sin… My brother is gay and he has known his sexual orieintation from a young age and looking back now, it was a really abhorrent and hollow presentation from that teacher which I didn’t understand at the time. I also read an article called “How To Not Let Your Relationship Get In The Way Of A Greater Being”. I couldn’t shake the thought of limiting your life for the purpose of a greater being who no-one knows for certain exists.” – Nathan Baverstock on ‘Close’
A guitar-driven track, but with a prominent drumbeat throughout the track, ‘Close’ is as sonically moving as it is lyrically. A well-arranged and layered track, the melody dips and raises in the exactly correct places to enhance sincerity and emotion. A surge in guitar riffs over the chorus, combined with Baverstock’s distinct vocals, emphasises the significant message portrayed with ‘Close’.
While ‘Close’ is quite a catchy song, it is more than just three minutes of toe-tapping indie-rock. Honest, compelling, passionate and sentimental, this track will break your heart, make you think and have you hit the repeat button a few times. ‘Close’ will be released on 25th September 2020 accompanied by the B-Side track ‘Dancing with Daisy’.