Fast rising cult stars Low Island in Leeds this week

Low Island, on their way to Leeds this week.
Low Island, on their way to Leeds this week.

Fast rising, genre bending experimentalists Low Island are on their way to Leeds for a gig at the Headrow House this Saturday.

The Oxford four-piece have quickly developed a cult following with the cerebral pop of their first two EPs and sell-out first-ever tour earlier this year. The band will be previewing tracks from their much anticipated third EP (featuring new track ‘The Lines’), and will also be joined by friends from the city’s artistic community to present an immersive bill of mixed collaborative art forms alongside their own headline set and guest DJs.

Both previous Low Island EPs (‘Just About Somewhere’ and ‘In This Room’) were released earlier this year and are already closing in on 2 million plays at Spotify alone. Although still building a name for themselves, the band are constantly attracting interest from a variety of Spotify’s most influential playlists including New Music Friday as well as the Viral Chart on both sides of the Atlantic.

Their tracks to date have enamoured many of radio’s new music champions, including Greg James (“The best thing we’ve played today”), Huw Stephens (“A special new band”), Phil Taggart (“One of my favourite new finds”), Lauren Laverne (“They’re showing so much promise”), Abbie McCarthy (“A brilliant band”), MistaJam and Tom Robinson.

Their previous release ‘That Kind Of Love’ was playlisted by Radio 1 as BBC Introducing’s Track of the Week, while ‘Holding It Down’ climbed to number one on the Amazing Radio chart.

‘The Lines’ is indicative of Low Island’s impossible-to-pigeonhole approach as skittering rhythms maintain a driving energy that counteracts its moody, minimalist synths and carefully enunciated vocal topline. Despite a pop-like immediacy, there’s a touch of the avant-garde about it too, with spoken word buried deep within the mix and enigmatic lyrics which lend themselves to personal interpretation.

“There have always been people who want to define the world with dividing lines,” says the band’s co-vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jamie. “The song is from the perspective of these people, who feel threatened by those on the other side of the line. If you listen very carefully in the middle of the song, you might hear their voices.”