It’s not often that I get the pleasure to review a work such as this. An EP like this, one with such a clear concept and explicit attention to detail is rare to say the least. It’s very easy for concept albums to slip into the “almost-made-it-but-not-quite” basket.
Before I go any further let me just say;
The Island of Mosy is a complete and utter joy from beginning to end.
The delicate touch applied to everything in this four-track is blissful and spurs a similar feeling of intrigue and warmth to illicit swigs of brandy at Christmas time.
Its concept revolves around the lives of four people, on a small island called Mosy located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. The island was founded in the early 20th century by fisherman Ricardo De Nunzio who set about using it to create a sort of utopia in his image. I won’t go too far into summarizing the story behind this record, but let me say now, the story engrosses you and provides context to the four tracks included on the record.
The other thing of note is the design of the record. Obviously, it hasn’t come out as a hard copy, only online through Soundcloud and WordPress, and it is there its concept flourishes. The website hosting the music, greets you with an ominous, dark island and portraits of the four characters, the stories of whom the songs on the record revolve around. The hand drawn images give off the ominous and intriguing aura I’m sure the artists were going for. It urges you to delve into the musical world that these women have created. It was wonderful when listening to the record, to be able to explore the website in the background and learn about the characters to which each song relates.
Album opener, “Peter” unites an ethereal piano line with minimalistic guitar lines into a beautiful crescendo of sound. It tells the story of the newcomer to the island, and the purpose of his life there. The shadowy nature of message is really captured through the vocal lines which feel raw and feel like they drag out to the last possible second before cutting off, almost unwillingly. Mason-Sakkas and Powell paint an image with sound, of a community which from the outset appears to be ordinary, but obviously houses some kind of ominous secret.
From a delightful, ambient piece of chamber-pop, The Island of Mosy takes a country and blues turn with little caution or reluctance. The upbeat tempo and twelve-bar blues nature of “The Rebel” juxtaposes against the dark lyrical content which is the only piece of the track that resembles the previous. This genre leap doesn’t alienate the listener, rather entices to move forward with what is a delightful concept for a record.
In a somewhat more conventional transition, “Fernandez” blends the blues guitar from the previous track with a Spanish influence, bellowing chorus’ and rip-roaring organ lines. The track about the most mysterious character on the island builds suspense in the record. In reading the provided biography on him, one can begin to hear his character traits come out in the instrumentalisation and lyricism of the track.
“Delora”, in closing the album, opens with a melancholic piano line and tells the story of a highly self-conscious and reserved lady. Her submission to the island’s leader is revealed throughout the track as ambient synth lines swirl around the piano driven track naturally. The absence of blaring drums really allow Mason-Sakkas, to show off the delicate yet powerful tones of her voice whilst maintaining the naive nature of the character she is taking on.
That is something which remains true over all the tracks; from beginning to end it feels as though the musicians on the EP devote themselves completely to the characters they are telling the stories of. So much so that you begin to lose the idea of a band telling the story on their behalf, but rather feel as though you are being spoken to directly by the inhabitants of the island.
In short,The Island of Mosy is an absolute delight. My only criticism can be that it is too short. Coming to the end of the EP I feel as though we’re only just beginning to delve deep into the mystery and many stories of the island.
Let’s hope we get brought back to Mosy sometime soon.