Following a Twitter and editors vote, Islet have won our Neutron Prize for 2020, the Powys trio take home the alterative Mercury Prize for their shape shifting and experimental pop sounds of Eyelet, released earlier this year on Fire Recordings. They follow previous winners Kathryn Joseph and Dream Wife.
Emma Daman Thomas of Islet said “What a wonderful surprise. We’ve never won anything before, what a boost. It’s an honour to feel that the album has connected with people, we’re very grateful to be heard. Huge thank yous to everyone who has supported us, diolch o galon.”
GIITTV editor Bill Cummings said of the album “Powys trio Islet‘s superlative third record Eyelet is coursing with perpetual motion and meditative depth of the undercurrents of water that flow through the Welsh hills of their home, elemental, hypnotic and spiritual, the cycle of life from birth to death.
Islet have often ventured forth into the frontiers of sound on record or on stage since they were hailed as the pioneers of Nowave in 2009. Yet the suspicion remained that they hadn’t quite distilled that energy – that body moving, heart-swelling, boundless imagination and unexpected experimentation of their live shows – down into a record, that is until now.
Eschewing the art noise of their debut album Illuminated People, instead it depicts their growth as a unit, building upon the psyche textures of 2016’s Liquid Half Moon EP and experimentation of Mark’s solo project Farm Hand. It pushes further than they have before, its crisp electronic sweeps, its bubbling percussive beats, its evocative vocals from Emma, with hints of the work of Arthur Russell, Brian Eno, Kate Bush, Jenny Hval and Animal Collective reaching the place where pop music meets experimentation and is patched together again. Eyelet embraces avant-pop with a vivid clarity as glistening as a diamond on the bed of the ocean.”
You can listen to the album below but then please buy it from their Bandcamp, ideally this Friday when the artist gets all the money you will pay for their record.