In Isolation are an indie rock trio hailing from Nottingham that hark back to classic New Wave 80’s bands such as The Cult, Depeche Mode and, perhaps more than anyone, mid-period Echo and the Bunnymen. After successfully releasing a clutch of singles that have received radio play and featured on various shows, this single has been superbly produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Paulo Nutini) and Joseph Murray.
Much like the bands listed above, In Isolation favour rich and expressive, passionate vocals courtesy of Ryan Swift and also, like the Bunnymen, a predilection for poetic, impressionistic lyrics (‘Tears spill over, flooding your fire…’ runs the epic chorus). With a trio, there can be no weak links instrumentally and In Isolation form a powerful, tight musical unit.
Tony Ghost’s precise, inventive drumming and John Berry’s muscular yet melodic bass playing provide a strong platform for some deft guitar work (also played by Berry) that runs the gamut of 80’s playing styles, from shimmering delays to Will Sergeant-esque scratchy high-end chords. I enjoyed the way a steady wall of guitar sounds built across the song in the way Johnny Marr used to do in The Smiths, another influence.
However, quality musicianship is worth nothing without a good song and fortunately Tears is a memorable and well-crafted piece of music, Swift’s distinctive and emotive vocals making a strong impression on the first listen. They are somewhat less portentous and bleak than, say, White Lies, another British trio with 80’s New Wave leanings. The chorus soon sticks in the mind and this commercial aspect bodes well for their future. Overall, this is an excellent choice for a single, and an intriguing taster for their forthcoming debut album being released sometime later this year.
Verdict: 8.6 out of 10