Genre: Avant-Pop Availability: on request Enquiries: email@example.com Live / Pre-record / Live-stream
The avant-pop project of two composers, Pete Devlin and Jamie Thompson (ADJUNCT! Ensemble, James Joys), Ex-Isles’ startlingly beautiful protest songs marry the fringe-pop sensibilities of David Sylvian and Scott Walker with their own unique takes on song-writing and production.
Their self-produced debut album Luxury Mass was released in 2018. A record about borders, thresholds, and solidarity with the displaced; it earned critical acclaim across the UK and Ireland.
In 2019 they were commissioned by theatre company Dumbworld to write and perform the music for dance opera A Different Wolf, which saw Pete performing as part of dance company Junk Ensemble and Jamie MDing the show with members of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and local children’s choirs. It was performed at Cork Opera House as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.
In 2019 they co-produced second album Domestic Sacraments with Dave Lynch at Echo Zoo Studios that expanded their sound into a full band, replete with strings, backing singers, saxophones, and Echo Zoo Studio’s enviable collection of rare synthesisers. The result is an album of singular lyrical and compositional ambition; an explicitly angry collection of invectives against both rising right-wing regression and craven centrist appeals for reasonableness and incrementalism. Domestic Sacraments will be released in 2023.
An EP and third album is on the way which sees them expanding their sound again into a more improvisatory approach to writing and recording in collaboration with a quartet of experimental jazz musicians. Alongside this, they will both release respective solo works in 2023.
Acclaimed live performances have included support slots with Richard Dawson and at the 2022 London Jazz Festival.
https://thethinair.net/2018/10/inbound-ex-isles/ – Thin Air Interview
“Tug-o’-wars between despair and warmth, the political and intimate give Luxury Mass its vital edge” – The Quietus
“One of the strongest debuts from an Irish act…Masterfully nuanced and politically-minded expansive chamber pop” – The Thin Air