Out now via Bella Union

Rating: 9.5/10

Words: Laura Turnbull | Header Image: DQ Agency 

Penelope Isles‘ debut album is a soft, fuzzed salute to long summers – the kind you left behind for adulthood and suddenly learning to be serious, along with forgetting what it’s like to live in moments instead of media feeds. ‘Until The Tide Creeps In‘ stands with its feet on two islands. Sweet melodies dip into warm, old memories while lyrics stand on the shore waving those less complex times off. Growing up is hella hard, we decided. Adulting, we’re over you. Luckily, Penelope Isles have rinsed these tricky life transitions in a ton of woozy psych-pop sound, and the tunes on this triumph of a debut come out the washer feeling bittersweet in the best kind of way.  

Penelope Isles are Brighton-based, but it all started with two siblings from the Isle of Man. Jack and Lily Wolter sing to the wavy skyline and comfy memories of their home shores on ‘Until The Tide Creeps In‘. Just like those endless beach days when you were a kid, this is the kind of album you could happily lose hours on. Soft distortion blunts the edges of each track, allowing the sounds to wash over you in a daydreamy kinda way. Whilst recalling the bleached, blissed-out sound of Tame Impala and channelling a touch of the gentle and quirky quality that blooms out of Grizzly Bear’s oddball indie offerings, Penelope Isles still manage to concoct a heady music brew all of their own.  

Get yer ears into this lovely track from ‘Until The Tide Creeps In‘:

It’s not all smooth sailing, though. This brother and sister led band sing about home as sudden strangers to its comforts. You know that awkward, big kid feeling you get when you come back home for Christmas and you’re sleeping on a camp bed in your mum’s front room? All those feels get shook up in these songs. Sure, the blow-up mattress isn’t too shabby, but you’re about to suffocate on all the old memory-lane dust. “Could stay but I already know my head would fall into a hole,” Lily Wolter sings on the album’s final track ‘Through The Garden‘. ‘Until The Tide Creeps In‘ serenades a past that it’s impossible to get back to. Granted, “cut your hair and sit down in an office chair” doesn’t sound too appealing, but we’ve all outgrown the garden and it’s time to give the desk a whirl. Gratitude in bucketloads to Penelope Isles for easing us into this strange new world with a true glowing sunset of an album.

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