ALBUM REVIEW: Ex-Isles – Luxury Mass | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

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Released: 14.09.18







The new project of formerly Newcastle-based electronic composer James Joys and singer-songwriter Pete Devlin, Ex-Isles emerge as a fully formed proposition from the off on their debut album Luxury Mass.

Stately and minimal, the album finds Devlin’s honeyed baritone couched within grand, weightless piano chords and strangely beautiful electric interference: obvious touchstones include David Sylvian’s solo work, ANOHNI and John Grant at his more restrained, but this is an album whose ambitions lay far beyond any kind of tribute or pastiche. Dealing with concepts of nationalism, identity and the violence of austerity, Luxury Mass avoids dry didactics for a far more poetic and rich palette. This is seriously smart, beautiful, audacious avant-pop that deserves a wide and open-minded audience.



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