Islet is a Welsh experimental psychedelic-electronic trio from Powys and their most recent album “Eyelet” is an intriguing journey through their hyper-active imaginations. Here’s the opening track “Caterpillar”:

“Caterpillar” starts with a woozy slow vibrato strummed guitar chord like an LP pressed off-center, before bass, percussion and other noises layers up and Emma Daman Thomas weaves a dreamy caterpillar-paced reflection on the larval pre-metamorphic state of being. Or something like that. “Caterpillar” is fitting entry point for an album where songs often change shape from familiar terrestrial beginnings to become the most extraordinary patterned creatures which then fly into the sun.

The opening song, and then the whole album, creates its own weirdly unusual-yet-familiar world-within-a-world while sounding like nothing much else. Yet Islet’s “Eyelet” (everyone loves a good homophone word-play) is likely to hold instinctive appeal to anyone who loves the music of the likes of Goldfrapp, Jane Weaver, Broadcast, Boards of Canada, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Vanishing Twin, Molly Nilsson, and even Primal Scream circa “Screamadelica”.

The trio of Emma and Mark Daman Thomas, and Alex Williams combine analogue and electronic instruments, voices, sampled sounds and reality-warping effects to create a hyper-saturated and exhilarating psychedelic pop fantasia.

Islet offer an intriguing back-catalogue as well, with two albums (Illuminated People, 2012 and Released By The Movement, 2013) and several EPs on their own label, Shape Records prior to this Fire Records release. Islet’s most recent release prior to the album was the 2016 EP “Liquid Half Moon”.

There’s a lot to love about this album, but right now the unpredictability of the songs and sounds is something special – and (serious) fun. Nothing runs a predictable course. A song that starts out like a fairly conventional kind of lo-fi synth pop or electronic dance tune will eventually change shape and spin out into a crushing-live-drums-with-samples sonic mélange that spirals off in unexpected directions.