Emperor Yes - 'An Island Called Earth'

6/10

Formed from members of irreverent indie outfit Three Trapped Tigers come Emperor Yes, a cosmically inspired threesome who are looking to bring the fun and joy back to the indie scene. Built from former Tigers man Adam Betts, producer Ash Gardner and instrumentalist Hugo Sheppard, this new band have been slowly gathering momentum over the last few years with a series of singles that have dazzled fans and critics alike with their experimental approach to electronics, fused with an overall glossing pop sound that instantly brings up comparisons to acts like Passion Pit and MGMT. But what can be made of the band's first attempt at a full-length?

At first glance of the tracklist, you'd think that this was some kind of concept album. With track titles like 'Cosmic Cat', 'Astronauts', 'Intergalactic Quarantine' and 'Carl Sagan', it is more than clear that they like space. And while they may sound like they are from another planet, there is still something familiar about their sound which prevents them from losing sight and keeps them grounded to this time and space. 'An Island Called Earth' has that same spirit and influence The Flaming Lips had during their 'Yoshimi Battles...' phase, but instead of going off the rails throughout, this release has a firm and focused direction that makes every track a joy to listen to.

Emperor Yes may still only be minnows on the scene, but this record has so much to offer in terms of originality and exquisite songwriting. It doesn't quite pack the punch you'd want to give them a more memorable sound but still has room to grow and progress.

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