We spoke to Rachael from This Island about the “Into Stars” EP, the Liverpool Music Scene and where This Island fit into it…

Liverpool Noise: ‘This Island” seems to have arrived out of nowhere. What is the background to the band, and what are your musical philosophies?
Rachael: Philosophy? Song, melody, harmony, song, melody, harmony, song, melody harmony…and repeat…what better way is there to connect with an audience? Any audience, anywhere.

LN: The “Into Stars” EP comprises of 5 tracks. Can you tell us the writing and production methods you used to get your unique sound?
Rachael: Honestly it’s not the production and writing that makes us unique. We’re a DIY outfit using technology available to all. What I know makes us stand apart is the determination to twist our influences rather than repeat them. If we didn’t feel we were writing tracks that celebrated all parts of our character you wouldn’t be hearing them.

LN: Where do you see yourself fitting into the present Liverpool music scene?
Rachael: We may have three or four toes in it. Being Liverpool it’s a bit hard to tell because we’re not a guitar based act. Who knows one day we could be a scene ourselves.

LN: Who are your artistic influences?
Rachael: It’s all about the song and the melody for me. So it could be an age-old folk song, Celtic harmonies from Clannad, the off-kilter Kate Bush. The new material that I’m building up and demoing at the moment seems to have a debt to the soundtracks of Nick Cave if he had collaborated with Bjork. Just don’t ask how what got me there!

LN: Do you have any plans to play live in the future?
Rachael: Unfortunately nothing immediately or short-term. Our ambition and greed means that we want to take these five tracks, another five, another five until we can take over an audience for a whole night! Keep the people on their feet and entranced for all the time they have. Although if anyone is offering an opportunity to take us on for an EP performance I’m sure we can reign ourselves in…for now.

LN: What is your favourite Liverpool venue to play at?
Rachael: From my solo moments and band projects I have to say that the relatively recent 81 Renshaw Street has a great sound with an always appreciative, knowledgeable crowd. For me it has brought back what we lost with downstairs at Magnet. And upstairs at the Zanzibar always produces good memories.

LN: Do you think LIPA has had a positive effect on the Merseyside music scene over the years?
Rachael: Students always bring friends and friends bring extra money into venues. Given the rate of closures and the struggle independently minded venues have you can argue every little helps. Artistically new young blood should always be encouraged to shake up and challenge the same faces, sounds and audience. You always hope that any institution doesn’t have too much of an institutionalizing effect on the students.

This Island “Into Stars” EP is out on Friday 11th October on all streaming platforms. Watch the video for “Into Stars” on Youtube.

Steve Kinrade