Island Club

By Ashleigh Haddock

Hailing from Brighton, England, Island Club is an indie-pop band composed of 5 members, Michael, David, Sam, Julien, and Barney. They’ve nearly hit 3 million streams on Spotify and plan to release their new EP on July 13th. I had the chance to chat with them about the origin of the band, their new single “Submarine,” and their musical inspirations.

HEM: Can you tell us about the origin of the band? How did you guys meet?                                                                           We all went for the same bottle of Sriracha hot sauce in ASDA. It was the last one and the tension from the resulting standoff formed the basis of the entire band.

HEM: How was the name “Island Club” chosen?
There's a sign over an abandoned toilet in Bath that reads "The Island Club." We all thought it was a great name before we realized it was an abandoned toilet, but it still ended up being our name.

HEM: Can you tell your fans a little bit more about your new single “Submarine” -- what were the inspirations behind it?

It was a mashup of ideas really. Musically we were trying to merge “Lost” by Frank Ocean and “Corinne” by Metronomy with some 80's synth and squishy lofi drum breaks. As for the sentiment of the song, it's all about dealing with someone leaving you for a good reason. It's the process of coming to terms with the fact that they're moving on to something better, a higher responsibility. Kind of like when Scarlett Johansson's AI Operating System leaves Joaquin Phoenix in Spike Jonze's Her. She is leaving for a really good reason but it still hurts Joaquin. Spoiler alert? Ha, you should have seen it by now.

HEM: You guys are releasing an EP in July! What was the process like? Also, what can fans expect?

It was actually quite a difficult but rewarding experience working on this EP because we wrote, recorded, produced, and mixed everything ourselves. We love the idea of having that much control on the end result of our music, so it was important for us to do that with this EP, but it can be challenging to have no outside reference on the sound. Fans can expect thoughtful, fun synth-pop meticulously crafted by arguably competent musicians and songwriters. No, really though, we put so much effort into making these songs the best they could be and we hope people enjoy them!

HEM: Are there any plans for a US tour anytime soon, or a tour in general?

We haven't got any plans to hit the States just yet, but if you know anyone who would have us, let us know. We would love to get over there and meet some of the awesome people who have sent us lovely messages over the years! In the meantime we're touring the UK in September and October this year, so any UK peeps should get involved.

HEM: Who are some of the bands that inspired you guys to make music? Who would you say influences your sound the most?

This is the hardest question because we are so lost when it comes to what exactly influences us. Some artists that we all appreciate are Tame Impala, Peace, and BØRNS, but the list just goes on forever if we're talking about what influences us... The Bee Gees, Max Martin, Foster The People, James Blake, Flyte, Bon Iver, just to brainfart a few names out... We listen to a lot of music all the time and it's hard to tell which influence is having the most... influence.

HEM: Lastly, is there any new music you guys have been playing on repeat?

Michael: “Stay” by Post Malone

Julien: “I Like That” by Janelle Monae

Sam: “Peace of Mind” by Laarsen

David: “Silverlined” by Peace

Barney: “Finesse” by Bruno Mars feat. Cardi B

Listen to “Submarine” below!