8 Feb

Islet are a mysterious bunch from Cardiff who have generated a huge wealth of ‘industry buzz’ in the past six months or so.  For those of you that know your music, the band features an ex member of Victorian English Gentlemens Club as well as an ex member of Attack+Defend. 

In a rather interesting (and some might say, risky) marketing tool, Islet turned their back on the traditional route of using the internet to promote themselves.

Given that every man and his dog is in a band these days, there’s only so many MySpace pages one can look at before getting bored.  With no content being filtered on MySpace, in some people’s eyes, it has become too big for its own good and great artists are lost in the gaps of other artists who maybe aren’t so great. That’s not meant to sound insulting in any way whatsoever but let’s face it, it’s not easy being a good band. If it was, everyone would do it right?   

Instead of the viral overload that anyone with a laptop and MySpace friend adding software can do these days, Islet have almost taken the old-fashioned approach of playing gigs and letting word of mouth spread. In fact, this is actually a brilliant idea because not only does it create a mystery about a band, it also allows them time to make music and be in full control of who hears it and when.

I love hunting for new music but in the digital age, so much pressure is put on bands today to deliver INSTANTLY. If they don’t, I will click another link and move on. An industry friend of mine once said “bands that aren’t the complete article that put stuff online are shooting themselves in the foot. People won’t come back if the band aren’t ready.” The (sad?) fact is that opinions form so quickly these days that bands can often be overhyped and raved about purely by having one catchy song.

Would Oasis have been so successful if all of their songs were freely available online for months? Part of what made them so exciting I feel is that they would release a single and then nobody would hear any more music from them until the next single. This created huge anticipation and tension. When the album came out, it blew up. You could argue that we won’t get a band as big as that again due to music becoming more on demand than ever before.

Anyway, I’m going off the point a little bit here… 

Islet were discovered by two guys who stumbled across them at a gig. Shocked that the band had nothing online, they decided that they would create a fan site for this purpose. To do this day, that is still the case. Islet have no MySpace page, no official website and the only video footage of them on YouTube is poor quality live footage. By poor quality, I mean the camera, not the music.

Musically they sound great. Their only recording to date is a BBC session, which is available for your listening pleasure on their unofficial website (the link is at the bottom).

With the internet and social networking bringing everyone closer, I sometimes feel that that’s spoilt the excitement and intrigue with music. I remember watching Top of the Pops when I was a child and being in awe at the pop stars and it almost felt like another world. Fast forward to today and we can get regular tweets from our heroes informing us of what they had for dinner and such. It’s a bit too much information if you ask me.  

Can you imagine Marc Bolan on Twitter back in the day whilst getting ready backstage? It would take away the glamour and mystery. What would he tweet I wonder… “Just taking off my make up, then my girlfriend is giving me a lift home.” (Bit harsh! Sorry!) 

Only time will tell if Islet can deliver but musically they sound fantastic and the non-viral marketing idea is certainly bringing back the mystery and intrigue to music that has been slowly dying in recent years.

Ones to watch as the saying goes.


2 Responses to “Islet”


  1. Great Escape 2010 – Friday « You Heard It Here First - May 18, 2010

    […] frantically made it to Brighton on Friday afternoon in time to catch Islet at the Freebutt. A band that snub the now-traditional social marketing methods and simply rely on […]

  2. Islet- new cardiff band twist music into new shapes : Louder Than War - October 11, 2011

    […] They have zero internet presence, none of that myspace stuff, just a few blogs about them […]

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