Initially formed in Oxford and currently based in London, the acclaimed indie rock act ISLAND — founding member Rollo Doherty (vocals) with Jack Reader (guitar), James Wolfe (bass) and Toby Richards (drums) — can trace their origins back to when Doherty started the band as a solo, acoustic, bedroom project that became a full-fledged band when Doherty recruited Reader, Wolfe and Richards to flesh out the project’s sound. And with the release of their first two EPs and 2018’s full-length debut Feels Like Air, which featured singles like “Try,” “The Day I Die,” and “Ride” and “Horizon,” the British quartet established and cemented aa sound that paired arena rock friendly hooks, earnest songwriting and brooding atmospherics inspired by Fleetwood Mac, Kings of Leon, The War On Drugs, Grizzly Bear and others.
ISLAND’S highly-anticipated sophomore album Yesterday Park is slated for a June 25, 2021 release through Frenchkiss Records. Recorded during pandemic-related lockdowns in London last summer with Mikko Gordon, Yesterday Park marks the first time that the acclaimed British indie rock quartet has worked with an outside producer. Reportedly, the end result is material that finds the act experimenting with more complex production while intruding new textures and recording techniques to further hone the sound that has won them acclaim worldwide.
Yesterday Park‘s latest single, the slow-burning “Young Days” is centered around Doherty’s plaintive vocals, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, broodingly atmospheric synths, jazz syncopated-inspired drumming and a rousing, arena rock sing-a-long friendly hook. Interestingly, much like the album’s previously released singles, “Young Days” is an wistful look at the past, written from the perspective of someone who has suddenly began to recognize that they’re getting old — and the time has somehow rushed by while they’ve been living it. As someone, who’s fully in his 40s, the song feels achingly familiar.
“Our lifestyles are driving the planet towards what feels like an inevitable future, and not being able to look into the eyes of the generations who will suffer the worst of the consequences makes it not even seem real,” ISLAND’s Rollo Doherty says of their latest single. “‘Young Days’ considers those ideas, but it was also written when I felt like I had reached a point where I needed to look at aspects of my own life, and change to better my future. The song is lost somewhere between those two thoughts.” The entire band adds “Nostalgia is a feeling that has become more relevant for everyone in the last year, with more time and space to reflect on past experiences.”
Directed by ISLAND’s Rollo Doherty, the cinematically shot black and white video follows a group of skateboarders fully in their youth — but these young people realize that the world that they will soon inhabit will be fucked up and broken unless the adults do the work to get it right on their behalf. Will we be successful? I don’t know. And that’s frightening.