A break-up EP like no other
Kieran Macadie
16:20 14th September 2021

More about:

After writing her first songs abstractly using a cello and later adapting to play bass guitar, Welsh songwriter Ailsa Tully reintegrates her first instrument and her unique cello-like bass playing on her new EP Holy Isle. 

Released on Dalliance Recordings, Holy Isle is a break-up EP like no other. Tully builds the four tracks on the EP in an architectural way. The combination of her classically-trained ear from her early cello playing and her adaptation to playing bass makes each song move smoothly and fluently from verse to verse. 

The unique flow combined with her tender and angelic voice alongside her obsession for field recordings of everyday sound such as washing machine rumbles, texting taps and cuckoo song make for a charming and emotively moving EP that tugs at one’s heartstrings without ever overshadowing the EP's bittersweetness and sense of positivity.

Thematically, Holy Isle is a break-up EP, but instead of being saturated with anger, bitterness and newfound solitude that’s therefore expected, Tully looks back at a formative period when she was searching for acceptance and instead looks at the past relationship with a rare empathy and open-heartedness, wishing the best for her former lover. Whilst the central narrative of the EP is change, it’s about embracing the change with open arms. 

The field recordings add to this aura of accepting change positively. Not only do the sounds of cuckooing birds and rustling leaves in the wind add the backdrop of the Welsh countryside she grew up with into the EP, the field recordings also truly hammer down the themes. Perhaps the most pertinent of them comes though at the EP’s conclusion: Tully inserts the hum of a car speeding past to re-create the sudden acceleration of a new reality taking over a once-dreamy state.

Holy Isle is a truly beautiful piece of work. The four tracks are not only an emotional and transcendent journey of embracing a new reality, but the rule breaking here makes Holy Isle a four track journey brimming with wonder and true beauty, ready to take you on a journey to wherever you might need to go next. 

Holy Isle is out now. 

More about:

Photo: Press