Norwich has delivered a new breed of Indie Rock in the form of The Islas. Upbeat rhythms, sharp melodies and thoughtful lyrics hint at clear influences such as The Smiths, Beautiful South and Declan McKenna but there’s something a little different about this Eastern Quartet.
The Islas consist of Nathan Baverstock (Lead Vocals & Rhythm Guitar) Ross Allen (Lead Guitar), Granger Wittering (Bass & Vocals) and Ed Chalu (Drums & Vocals) who formed in the Autumn of 2017.
Spending the majority of their time in Chalu’s house practising & working on acoustic demos written by Baverstock and Allen after writing together during their time at local music college ‘Access To Music’, The Islas found their sound along with a mutual desire to put on high energy shows with tight 2 minute tracks that showcased their musical abilities and clear depth in songwriting.
After creating a local Buzz, The Islas caught the eye of Norwich’s music scene, headlining infamous venues such as The Waterfront, Norwich Arts Centre and EPIC Studios. With a strong online presence after releasing two demos through their Website, The Islas released their debut single ‘A Generation To Forget’.
A Generation To Forget earned over 1,000 plays shortly after its initial release in 2018 and The Islas found themselves on the bill with major support slots for Cast, Fickle Friends, Louis Berry, Anteros, The Amazons on their Norwich legs of their respective tours. Owner of Neverworld festival, Lee Denny, also caught his eye on the group offering them the opening slot of the Mainstage at the festival in 2018.
The single was shortly joined by three singles that were all recorded in Chalu’s room by the band with no third party help, completing the A Generation To Forget EP which was released throughout 2018 and banded together in early 2019.
Music Blog 42 hailed “This Norfolk power band have written, recorded and mastered successfully an ambitious EP. ‘Somewhere In Between’ especially is a credit to this hard working band and The Islas are a credit to our local music scene” and This is Noise had this to say “Current, relevant and totally engrossing from the off, The Islas are bravely exploring themes that are so important in today’s society”.
In late winter 2019 the band travelled up North to Merseyside to work with production duo Sugar House (Corella, Larkins, Viola Beach) after the producers reached out to work together on the next releases. 2019 singles ‘Aileen’ and ‘Back of Your Neck’ were recorded and both were mastered by Alex Gordon at Abbey Road Studios.
‘Aileen’ was released in May 2019 and received immediate positive response from blogs and websites across the UK. Spotify added the track to their ‘Hot New Bands’ playlist for six weeks, it was included in match day playlists for several football clubs including Luton Town FC and also had a feature for Alex Rainbird’s October playlist. National promoter This Feeling added the band to their London shows and included it as their Track of The Week with Gigslutz adding its praise.
‘Back of Your Neck’ followed ‘Aileen’, released in August 2019. It gained a very similar amount of praise and was used by ITV for This Morning’s Fashion Video on October 15th. It is also set to be used for Vinyl Moon’s 2020 compilation.
BBC Introducing in Norfolk have played both tracks and the initial EP throughout the year since The Islas released them. ‘Back of Your Neck’ was also used for Rob Adcock’s BBC Introducing podcast ‘Does My Music Suck’ where guest producer Olga Fitzroy said she “loved the track and would love to see the band live”.
The Islas ended their highly successful 2019 with their first performance outside the UK headlining ‘This Is England’ festival in Rouen.
2020 will see The Islas head back into the studio once again to release more music and aim to top their great year by bringing on more success start to break out as one of the UK’s hottest new bands.
‘The Islas will be your new favourite band’ - One Unique Blog.