Islet are remote Welsh outsiders, a Powys quartet whose free-spirited invention and exuberant intensity flows through experimental pop: hypnotic, exhilarating and defiantly unique. Islet released new album Soft Fascination in September 2023.

Unhinged, euphoric, wonderful.



Islet is a Welsh quartet whose free-spirited invention and exuberant intensity is hypnotic, exhilarating and defiantly unique.

They began in Cardiff in 2009 when Emma Daman and brothers Mark and John ‘JT’ Thomas resolved to form a band with one rule: that anything was possible. Soon after, they were joined by Alex Williams. The band had no lead singer or set roles, switching instruments from song to song, melding psych rock, ethereal atmospherics and jagged post punk, with most gigs seeing the walls and spectators played as instruments. They were soon surrounded by a buzz of excitement and mystique, their live shows joyful abandon and unleashed energy. They wrote about their philosophy in their own zine, started a festival and were stalwarts of the Welsh DIY community. Two albums (Illuminated People, 2012 – shortlisted for the Welsh Music Prize – and Released By The Movement, 2013) and a handful of EPs (Celebrate This Place, 2010; Wimmy, 2010, Liquid Half Moon, 2016) followed, released on their own label, Shape Records.

In 2019, Islet signed to Fire Records, home of many an experimental deep thinker and everyday cult icon. Islet released their critically acclaimed, Welsh Music Prize shortlisted, third full length album Eyelet  in 2020 as a three-piece following JT’s temporary departure from the band. Eyelet  featured tracks of crystalline beauty shot through with the band’s devious pop sensibility. Emma Daman Thomas moved into focus with her vocals shapeshifting from airy to unleashed against a synth-driven sound with unexpected shifts of rhythm.

Three years on, the three are a four again. Founding member JT has now returned on drums, this fixing of roles a shiny new consistency. This Islet is more defined, more direct; veering from the high energy beats intensity of side one of new album Soft Fascination, to its less orthodox but no less infectious flipside.

Islet is all about being subsumed in sound, with a fierce urge to challenge, to embrace, communicate, excite and, ultimately, set their audience free. They are following their own course, awash with synthesisers with a rhythmic pulse creating a delicate balance between repetition, volume and the romance of time, an ecstatic experience through music.

Soft Fascination  was released September 2023 on Fire Records, followed by a Sold out UK headline tour (2023) and EU festival dates throughout 2024.


An album of two halves.. it’s a clattering rush of snappy euphoria fuelled by Thomas’ percussion overlaid with Emma Daman Thomas’ languid, echoey voice… krautrock pulses and Liz Fraser-esque vocal layering.


Characterised, somehow, by both immediacy and inscrutability, Soft Fascination is a patchwork of distorted pop, robo-synths, wonky basslines, fidgety rhythms and fluid, ambient interludes. ★★★★


Press Quotes

So, so good.. Islet sound fully engaged and energized” Paste 

“Playful but grounded, with a glistening synth backing” Brooklyn Vegan 

 “They invigorate the sense of life on the margins with this whirlwind of psychedelic pop” The Guardian

“Truly defiant.. their psych-indebted wanderings occupy a singular realm” Clash 

“Wandering, woozy, glitch-bedded mood pieces fusing trance-era textures and fragmented melodies”  MOJO

“The perfect mix of experimentation and entertainment, brain and heart engaged simultaneously”  Stewart Lee

“A steady-but-mercurial force… Sounding like Cate Le Bon fronting a math rock band” Beats Per Minute 

“Islet are sonic adventurers who we want to follow into the unknown.” God Is In The TV Zine 

“Groovy and spooky, good that isn’t it!” Tom Ravenscroft, BBC6 Music 

“Wonderful band” Huw Stephens, BBC Radio Wales 



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