Since the release of Pastel Colours ‘She Can’t Decide‘, the excellent wonky psych-pop worm that didn’t leave the stereo all summer, guitarist and vocalist Josh Gibbs has been a little on the quiet side. Before working on the enigmatic 5-piece, Gibbs tore a new one with the freak-garage of Hazards, a blink and you’ll miss it EP providing ready rock’n’roll vibes within a smokey-bar sound. So with this in mind it comes with no surprise that the increasingly creative (who out of Fal isn’t?) musician has been hidden away, conjuring up another project, this time in the form of The Isabelles.
Before you listen to their first track, ‘She’s In Pictures’, expectantly waiting for something in the 60s vein with a contemporary finish, stop. Move forward around a couple decades. The four-piece formed of Gibbs, Joel McConkey (Hazards, Lost Dawn), Morgan Lloyd-Matthews (Hazards hard-hitting drummer) and Johnny Griffiths have taken a even noisier approach, laying waves of crackling distortion over some rich pop hooks, evoking a C86 tone which with a woozy-vocal delivery that retains PC’s hypnotic qualities.
When talking about the track, Gibbs is evidently surprised and no less pleased with the outcome;
“When I started off Pastel Colours, it kind of exploded without any groundwork. That led to me wanting to work on more Pastels material which meant I had to drop Hazards stuff. So I hadn’t really written or played with Joel and Morgan from Hazards for ages and ages before we started this, I’d never played guitar or sang in a band with them before so it was definitely a change.”
“So we just jammed basically, and it came out sounding like this.We didn’t go in with any preconceptions and we’re definitely happy with the quality and the sound of it. We just gave it a go for the first time in ages, and its worked a lot better than we would’ve ever hoped.”
When discussing the tone of the track, the guitarist agrees that when listening to the jangly pop style within the track it evokes a familiar aesthetic to the cassette-bound tracks heard and adored on ‘C86‘.
“(When discussing the elements of C86 within the track), The perspective of the song changes completely in quite a rewarding way, especially for me. Its not authentically C86, it just has the elements that creep in. In terms of timescale, we first started playing together about a month ago and we’re a well noisy band, Morgan is drumming and he’s the loudest man on earth, yet it’s still kind of pop.”
The Isabelles are our newest addition to Wax Music’s First Birthday, set to take place at Beerwolf Books on the 4th December with The Black Tambourines and more. For more information on the show, click here.