Firestations – Small Island (Lost Map)

Firestations – Small Island (Lost Map)

Taken from the first of three EPs set for release through Lost Map, Firestations invite us to sink into their woozy alt-pop sound on single Small Island.

Artist: Firestations
Track: Small Island
Label: Lost Map
Released: 2 October 2020
Find it: Spotify | Bandcamp


In mythology, there was a race of islanders who forgot themselves and slept when they ate from the tree growing there. The lotus eaters neglected their responsibilities, lost any motivation to work or to love, when they fell to the effects of the fruit.

There is a strong sense of this story in recent single Small Island from Firestations, released ahead of their EP due this Friday.  With the feel of War on Drugs cycling melodies and haze this is a track which distances the real world, and pulls a veil between action and emotion to let the listener languidly sink. Like the islanders succumbing to the fruit-induced apathy Small Island reflects the inertia in modern life – news cycles faster than ever but the same things come round time and again.

‘Cos we were promised tomorrow sooner / But the past is taking over / The future so familiar / Is coming round again’

Of the track the band say, “Small Island is about finding ways to embrace an inclusive islander mentality when the dominant narrative seems to be stuck in slow motion or on repeat – the languorous but insistent groove providing the perfect “road-to-nowhere-fast” backdrop.”

Band member and visual artist Laura Copsey has curated a series of pieces to accompany the EP, showing a fascinating process and the entanglement of music and art. She said, “The music Firestations make together and the ideas we explore, have increasingly influenced the work I create. Sometimes it’s hard to see where the music starts and the art stops, and this cross-pollination comes from the time we spend together as a band – conversations, in-jokes and influences that we agree or disagree about.

“The way we work has become increasingly process-led, which has always been how I work as an artist. This way of working together grew out of our previous release Dream Home, which was the first time my visual work was so connected with the music.

“The songs on Automatic Tendencies reflect on ideas of cultural identity and belonging. A tendency for repetition, a desire to escape, but also a strong connection to place and the shared experience of being alive at the same time on this small island. The contents of the art collection work alongside the music to create a sense of belonging, yet there is an ever-present awareness of growing insularity. The waters surrounding the British Isles are increasingly politicised – viewed as a border, despite being fluid and acting as a connection.”

Small Island by Firestations is out now on Lost Map, and EP Automatic Tendancies will be released on 6 November 2020.

Find Firestations: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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