Penelope Isles debut ‘Leipzig’

Today the Brighton, UK-based quartet Penelope Isles, led by brother and sister Jack and Lily Wolter, have released “Leipzig” from their forthcoming debut album Until the Tide Creeps In, due out  July 12th on Bella Union. Stereogum premiered the video, saying: “Much like the other songs from this album, there’s a youthful, frolicking feel to the vocals that additionally serves to sweeten the top-line melody.

Jack and Lily Wolter had this to say about the video:

We filmed the video in Berlin, Munich, Hannover, Diest and Luxembourg whilst on tour in Europe last year. We would constantly be on the lookout for perfect spots along the way and would keep our jeans and white t shirts folded up in a pile in the van ready to go. It’s funny that we actually forgot to shoot anything whilst in Leipzig! Although the shot of of J Sow playing drums in the woods looks very picturesque, we were actually all surrounded by German truck driver’s roadside turds! We had a laugh making the video and were all very impressed by Becky’s moves on the bridge in Munich! Germany is one of our favourite places to tour and it feels lovely to have these places within our music video. 

Early praise for Penelope Isles…

“Sweltering guitars scorch the earth [on ‘Chlorine’]… While summery synths and keys frolic in spaces left between the drum line and spiraling vocals, the riff phrases communicate nearly as much warmth and meaning as the lyrics do.” – Stereogum

“There is a grandeur to their songs, big and swelling, ebbs and flows…The whole band is seriously talented, and…seriously rock, too.” – Brooklyn Vegan

“Choppy guitar and thumping percussion combine to create a markedly DIY aesthetic throughout the video’s three minutes and five seconds of scrapbooked collage visuals. Said DIY aesthetic, both sonically as well as visually, operates as a self-aware style, one that brings an element of dirty garage rock to the haze of dream-pop flushes.” – Paste

“…a dreamy but biting piece of guitar pop…soaring, pastoral, highly intelligent songwriting.” – Clash Music

Formed around the chemistry between siblings and dual songwriters Jack and Lily Wolter, Until the Tide Creeps Inis an album deepened by shared experience. Born in Devon and raised on the Isle of Man, the Wolters’ bonds were strengthened by separation when Jack moved away to study art at university at 19, when Lily was 13. As he puts it, wryly, “By the time I moved home Lily was not so much of an annoying younger sister anymore and had grown up and started playing in bands and writing songs. We soon became very close. I had written some songs, so we started a band called Your Gold Teeth. We toured a bit and then Lily left for Brighton to study songwriting. A couple of years later I moved down and we started Penelope Isles together.” For every sibling band forged in rivalry, many others mount an unassailable genetic argument for keeping the music in the family. The latter is assuredly the case with Penelope Isles, a quartet completed by Jack Sowton and Becky Redford.

Crisp and woozy, blissful and biting, Until the Tide Creeps In is an album deepened by shared experience: experiences of, in Jack’s words, “leaving home, moving away, dealing with transitions in life and growing up. We are six years apart, so we had a different experience of some of this, but we share a similar inspiration when writing music.”

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Penelope Isles share ‘Round’

Up-and-coming Brighton, UK four-piece Penelope Isles recently announced their remarkable debut album Until the Tide Creeps In, out on  Bella Union on July 12th. Following the album’s first track “Chlorine,” the brother/sister centric band shares another great song off the record entitled “Round.” “It’s a love song – a collection of moments and thoughts of what it’s like to be in love,” explains the band’s Jack Wolter who self-produced the album. “All the beautiful moments and all the difficult times too. Going round full circle. The verses are like the beautiful times that we will always remember where  the chorus is the truth of how it’s not always that easy.” Pre-order the album HERE.

Early praise for Penelope Isles…

“Sweltering guitars scorch the earth [on ‘Chlorine’]… While summery synths and keys frolic in spaces left between the drum line and spiraling vocals, the riff phrases communicate nearly as much warmth and meaning as the lyrics do.” – Stereogum

“There is a grandeur to their songs, big and swelling, ebbs and flows…The whole band is seriously talented, and…seriously rock, too.” – Brooklyn Vegan

“Choppy guitar and thumping percussion combine to create a markedly DIY aesthetic throughout the video’s three minutes and five seconds of scrapbooked collage visuals. Said DIY aesthetic, both sonically as well as visually, operates as a self-aware style, one that brings an element of dirty garage rock to the haze of dream-pop flushes.” – Paste

“…a dreamy but biting piece of guitar pop…soaring, pastoral, highly intelligent songwriting.” – Clash Music

Formed around the chemistry between siblings and dual songwriters Jack and Lily Wolter, Until the Tide Creeps Inis an album deepened by shared experience. Born in Devon and raised on the Isle of Man, the Wolters’ bonds were strengthened by separation when Jack moved away to study art at university at 19, when Lily was 13. As he puts it, wryly, “By the time I moved home Lily was not so much of an annoying younger sister anymore and had grown up and started playing in bands and writing songs. We soon became very close. I had written some songs, so we started a band called Your Gold Teeth. We toured a bit and then Lily left for Brighton to study songwriting. A couple of years later I moved down and we started Penelope Isles together.” For every sibling band forged in rivalry, many others mount an unassailable genetic argument for keeping the music in the family. The latter is assuredly the case with Penelope Isles, a quartet completed by Jack Sowton and Becky Redford.

Crisp and woozy, blissful and biting, Until the Tide Creeps In is an album deepened by shared experience: experiences of, in Jack’s words, “leaving home, moving away, dealing with transitions in life and growing up. We are six years apart, so we had a different experience of some of this, but we share a similar inspiration when writing music.”

Penelope Isles announce debut album ‘Until The Tide Creeps In’

For every sibling band forged in rivalry, many others mount an unassailable genetic argument for keeping the music in the family. The latter is assuredly the case with Penelope Isles, whose debut album, Until the Tide Creeps In, is released 12th July via Bella Union and available to preorder here. Formed around the chemistry between dual brother-sister songwriters Jack and Lily Wolter, the quartet’s expansive DIY mix of translucent dream-pop, fuzz-rock guitars and indie-psych flushes comes lovingly dipped in exquisite harmonies and lustrous melodies: a combination so intuitive, you’d think it was in their blood. To celebrate the announcement, Penelope Isles have shared a captivating mixed media video for current single “Chlorine”, incorporating old b/w footage and puppet animation. The band have also announced a slew of UK and European live dates for the Spring and Autumn, along with summer festival appearances, kicking off with a headline show at London’s Moth Club next week on 17th April.

Crisp and woozy, blissful and biting, Until the Tide Creeps In is an album deepened by shared experience: experiences of, in Jack’s words, “leaving home, moving away, dealing with transitions in life and growing up. We are six years apart, so we had a different experience of some of this, but we share a similar inspiration when writing music.”

Such themes run deep on album opener ‘Chlorine’. Between its beatific surface calm and emotional rip-tides, choppy guitars and sailing harmonies, it’s an immersive invitation to the Isles’ pool party: the first of several on an album that creates its own world and navigates it fluently, tugging you in further with every current.

That fluency takes the form of a wicked way with melody on ‘Round’, a snappy riff on romantic compulsion with an undertow of whammy-bar cool. ‘Not Talking’ resembles the result of a dip in Perth’s indie-psych waters, there to bond with early Tame Impala; meanwhile, coastal metaphors and indie-rock romanticism merge to lush, lilting effect on the Lily-penned ‘Underwater Record Store’.

As Jack puts it, nice and succinctly, “It’s cool to have two songwriters in the band because I love her songs so much!” Born in Devon and raised on the Isle of Man, the Wolters’ bonds were strengthened by separation when Jack moved away to study art at university at 19. As he puts it, wryly, “By the time I moved home Lily was not so much of an annoying younger sister anymore and had grown up and started playing in bands and writing songs. We soon became very close. I had written some songs, so we started a band called Your Gold Teeth. We toured a bit and then Lily left for Brighton to study songwriting. A couple of years later I moved down and we started Penelope Isles together.”

The quartet is completed by Jack Sowton and Becky Redford, who studied music and played in a three-piece with Lily in Brighton. When Lily came home for holidays, the idea of forming a new band rapidly developed. Though Jack and Lily write separately, their disparate songs were chucked into a shared pot and Penelope Isles surfaced, fuelled by a passion for DIY alt-rock and all those who sail its seas: Pavement, Deerhunter, Pixies and Tame Impala number among notable influences, alongside Radiohead and The Thrills.

Produced by Jack, the album was co-mixed by Iggy B (whose credits include The Duke Spirit, John Grant, Spiritualized and Lost Horizons) in London’s Bella Studios with a homegrown aesthetic and live clarity as guiding principles. The Line of Best Fit, DIY and Steve Lamacq (who hosted a recent Isles’ gig at SXSW for BBC6 Music) have all championed Isles’ bracing live form, where ‘Gnarbone’ has emerged as a show-stopper. “I wrote that song in a tiny cupboard room when I lived in Cornwall,” says Jack, “and it’s funny to think how it’s grown into such a beast.” From close-knit family ties to world stages, Penelope Isles’ growth curve is fast becoming a surge.

Until the Tide Creeps In is released 12th July via Bella Union. Album artwork below + upcoming UK live performances can be found here.

Penelope Isles share official “Chlorine” audio

Having recently announced their signing to Bella Union, and about to head off to the US to play a bunch of shows at SXSW, Penelope Isles have today shared the track ‘Chlorine’ from their upcoming debut album, due for release later this year. Bright and brisk, wide-eyed and wistful, ‘Chlorine’ is a dreamy introduction to the instinctive charms and alt-rock chops of the Isle of Man-via-Brighton quartet, forged around siblings Jack and Lily Wolter.

Penelope Isles are about to head off to the US for three shows in New York this weekend followed by SXSW in Austin, Texas next week, the dates and info of which can be found here.

Last week also saw Penelope Isles reveal another new track from the album, as Stereogum premiered a live recording of LP standout “Gnarbone”. 

Introducing Penelope Isles

Bella Union are thrilled to introduce new signings Penelope Isles. Currently putting the finishing touches to their debut album, the band have shared a video of them performing a new track entitled ‘Chlorine’ which can be viewed below…

“It’s a song we often open our shows with, so it felt right to have it as the first single off the record,” say Penelope Isles. Bright and brisk, wide-eyed and wistful, ‘Chlorine’ is a dreamy introduction to the instinctive charms and alt-rock chops of the Isle of Man-via-Brighton quartet, forged around siblings Jack and Lily Wolter. After a buoyant guitar-pop opening, ‘Chlorine’ harbours a tale of what the band call “a heart-breaking family divide”. Its potency heightened by the juxtaposition between the band’s fiery lead-guitar sorcery and sailing three-part harmonies, it’s a song of tremendous melodic calm and emotional rip tides, inviting and immersive.

Self-produced by Jack and recorded in Brighton’s Bella Studios, ‘Chlorine’ is a hypnotic teaser for Penelope Isles’ debut LP, due for release this summer. Between its chiming dream-pop, fuzz-noise waves, indie-psych currents and lustrous melodies, the album is a transporting show of expansive DIY vision, its elemental metaphors a fertile backdrop for the band’s innate inner chemistry and acute grasp of contrast. 

Crisp and woozy, blissful and biting, it’s also an album powerful enough to sweep you away live. Penelope Isles have already garnered support from The Line of Best Fit and DIY for their excellent live shows. With upcoming performances at both Eurosonic and SXSW, the band will also be playing these listed shows over the next few months.