Every now and again, you hear a band that screams out fun, imagination and creativity. Novelty Island, the brainchild of Tom McConnell is one such band. Raised between Liverpool and Newcastle, Tom is now based in London and works on Novelty Island material from the Abbey Road Institute’s studio, next to the tapes in the vaults of Abbey Road. His sound is a blur of classic song writing, warped electronica and surrealism and marks the band out as distinctive from the mainstream. The rest of the band comprises Frankie Tibbles on keys, David Dargahi on guitar and Harry Carter on drums.
The new EP, Welcome To Novelty Island features four tracks that surf the sound of all things psychedelic whilst also generating the warmth of the mid to late Beatles music. The end track of the four, ‘The End of the Whirl’, finishes with this sound. It makes a musical and creative statement which has continued throughout the EP; it’s joyful. Tom says,
“Welcome to Novelty Island. Beyond the tranquil nature of Magdapio Falls, where the Saturn Alarms ring out through the night, there is a much mythicised location. A location so dangerous, so remote, so beyond comprehension – it’s image so tarnished that each generation fears it more than the last. A place known as The End Of The Whirl”.
Before getting to ‘The End of the Whirl’, ‘Magdapio Falls‘ and ‘Saturn Alarms‘ take you inside the creative force of Tom McConnell – it’s like being in a warm, fuzzy, magical mystery tour. A glimpse into the future of music if you will – it’s a place I’d rather like to explore more. ‘Windows‘ is a dreamier song, the calm before the storm of ‘The End of the Whirl’.
The band’s advice for aspiring musicians is:
Be busy, don’t wait around for things that may/may not happen. Keep putting stuff out there and building on what you’ve got.
Welcome to Novelty Island is released on March 20 on Abbey House Records.
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