Bright Islands is the new reverb-laced Indie Pop solo project from the North West of England, led by composer and multi-instrumentalist Mike Simms featuring Anne Marie Howard (a.k.a. Anne Marie), who has just released the band’s debut EP.
Three songs that juggle with grace amid delicate lulling strumming, shimmery jangly arpeggios, at times slightly distorted guitars, nimble basslines and sparse percussions, wrapped in ethereal sunkissed harmonies and bittersweet vocalizations, to deliver an emotive, understated and reflective take to the mid-80s-90s Indiepop sound, reminiscent of the seminal Sarah Records stable.
The opening “Kick The Past” shuffles along steady light drums and swaying sparkling guitar melodies laced with tremolo quivers, amid a deep poignant bridge washed in fluid keyboards, to subtly radiate breezes of subtle melancholy over sad contemplative layered vocals, aching in hopeless harmonies of longing and regret.
More lively and angsty the second track about a star maiden, “Astraea” pulses through a floaty buzzing haze of reverb with a captivating layered vocal interplay, whilst “Ordinary” closes in intimate heartfelt tones with softened syncopated percussions, stripped-down wistful bright guitar chords, veiled by sheer keyboard flows, winding in a contemplative iridescent emotional river of nostalgia and newfound hope.
A first on-tiptoe approach to the Indiepop tropes certainly familiar, but in which it is always pleasant to immerse yourself.