2021, 2×12″ LP, Raster.
The four Scottish-Irish musicians Conor Dalton, David Donaldson, Greame Reedie and Ian Maclennan are Island People. After their highly acclaimed debut from 2017, they have now finished their second album with the simple and consistent title II. Compared to their debut, II sounds more mature and complex. The arrangements unfold like the long tracking shots of an early Antonioni film — time seems to stand still, circling the moment. Impressionistically, one feels transported into the Scottish island landscape with its contrasting lights and harsh elements. Gloomy, darker, richer textures have conquered their space on II as much as the more present acoustic components. As much as its predecessor, also this record was skillfully produced, the musicians’ entire experience is audible (Conor Dalton is a sought-after mastering engineer; David Donaldson a Grammy Award-winning producer) — but anything fashionable or sensationalist has been intentionally waived. The musical serenity, holding up a craft that neither has to show itself off every minute nor wants to respond to the latest trends impressed us the most. The cover photo was contributed by the Scottish artist Helena Ohman. She also provided the video for the track “Crash”. Furthermore, singer Alice Hill-Woods was invited to contribute the lyrics and vocals to “Stalling”. Island People on the creative process behind the album: “This album reflects on the destination we have in common before us, and celebrates the longer road while also considering paths not taken and journeys that ended too soon. It has been said that »art is how we decorate space; music is how we decorate time. For us the writing of this album has been a great journey through both, shared with friends. While our first album acknowledged our own spaces and borders as individuals, the new album seemed to grow very quickly from our travels together as a band. Periods spent on the road playing live afforded extra time together and while we didn’t feel constrained to a concept at the start, more and more of the tracks evolved to reflect these journeys and experiences together.”