Robyn Sherwell is a new, young, British pop artist who’s star has been well on the rise over the first half of 2015.
Her music has received airplay across the UK and Ireland, appearing on the trailer for the movie Suffragette and being championed by BBC Introducing both in her home island of Guernsey and by BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens.
All of this has led to her being selected to appear on the BBC Introducing Stage at the 2015 Glastonbury Festival.
This success has all come about through a string of live shows, honing her craft, in London and off the back of debut EP, Islander.
Things start out with the pounding, tribal drums of the title track that Robyn referred to in a recent interview with BBC Introducing Guernsey as her ‘battle song’, and it’s clear to see why.
As the drums build her haunting vocals echo across a sonic landscape inspired by her home island and grow in power to a surprisingly strong and potent sound, issuing a statement of intent through the story of someone fighting their way from the depths – all accompanied by a chanted refrain of ‘Sarnia’, the ancient name of Guernsey.
Pale Lung follows with a much less rhythmically intense feel and showing off more of the dynamic in Robyn’s voice. Across the track elements of electro-pop and acoustica merge with layered vocals in the form of a precise, low-key, pop package.
Third track Tightropes pulls things back even further with simply a piano underscoring a vocal track that, while seemingly all Robyn, is layered in such a way as to give a big choral effect. Once again this is another abstract story that delves beyond some more standard pop into the heart and soul of the matter, while sonically the track has hints of Sigur Ros at times.
The EP is rounded off by Sherwell’s take on Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide and continues the collections increasingly sparse sound. This track is almost entirely based around layered vocal tracks, once again giving a ‘solo-choral’ effect (if such a thing can exist). This sums up one of the real highlights of the EP, the perfect marriage between performance and production to create an overall sonic effect and atmosphere.
From the sonic diversity displayed on the Islander EP, but all with an overarching style, its clear to see why Robyn Sherwell is being picked up for higher things and, in today’s pop landscape, this has every chance of breaking into the mainstream with it’s serene sound which covers something deeper hidden just below the surface.