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[sic] Magazine - Low Island – If You Could Have it All Again.

[sic] Magazine

Low Island – If You Could Have it All Again.

Low Island are a four piece band from Oxford fusing synthpop with indie. Their album is released via their own label Emotional Interference. Its title If You Could Have it All Again is a reference to what frontman Carlos Posada considers to be his wasted twenties. Describing the album as the product of “ten years of trying to make things work – in music, but also in life,” Posada recounts “a litany of romantic disasters that have coloured the last ten years of my life”. It sees him inhabiting a loose character that looks back at the last decade, and says – in his words – “Have I just really fucked this up? Have I made a royal mess of the last ten years?” Well, don’t worry Carlos. Thirty is the new Twenty and trust me, on the strength of your long player, life could get a whole lot more interesting, real soon.

If You Could Have it All Again is superb. With wry lyrics wrapped up in hopeful falsetto, this album consistently juxtaposes light with shade, melancholy with optimism. The vocal is particularly interesting. On the face of it we might expect Carlos Posada to be more suited to a folk indie vehicle (think Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Manchester Orchestra, etc) Yet here he is fronting a breezy synthpop act with seemingly all the tunes and moves imaginable. It just fits. Not unlike Ben Gibbard in The Postal Service the contrast elevates the work making If You Could Have it All Again a joy to listen to. I often use my first playthrough as an opportunity to do other things while letting initial thoughts and impressions seep through. Yet any ideas I had of accomplishing my housework quickly disappeared. This album had me grooving around the apartment doing all manner of spins and sock slides. Any note taking came much later. The songs themselves remain melodically strong, but the arrangements are clever. There are unexpected little tones and effects everywhere making If You Could Have it All Again simultaneously accessible but gently subversive.

Album highlights include ice cool floor stomper ‘I Do It For You’ and the irresistible ‘Feel Young Again’. Before these we have the bittersweet ‘In Your Arms’ which, per Carlos is a love letter to the singers’ childhood bedroom. “It’s about how objects or spaces that are important to us can get tangled up in our past and present, and how the memories and emotions they evoke can both comfort us and weigh us down” The dichotomy of nostalgia is captured in the songs video. My own personal favourite is the understated ‘Momentary’ but in truth the album is solid throughout with no missteps (unlike my housework dancing). Think MGMT and The 1975 then throw those thoughts away. Low Island have more ideas, more heart and better record collections.

And they’re only just getting started.

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