Album: Route 500 – Island Perimeter

Island Perimeter is Brighton based Route 500’s self-produced debut album but possesses, in its rich and emotionally impactful sound world, a confidence that belies this fact. The claims that rawness took precedence over perfection in the album’s creation may be true but it doesn’t remove the fact that these songs are unbelievably carefully constructed, beautifully delivered and possessed of a soulful melodiousness that draws the listener into their intimate world.

Their sonic influences seem far-reaching and varied but are tied together by both the dominant mood of introspection and the rich timbre of songwriter Derek Inver’s luxuriant vocals which sway between soulful croon, theatrical yet plaintive wail, and hushed whisper with ease and elegance. Vocally there is something of early Timber Timbre in the treacly warmth of its tones underpinned by a dark but dreamlike ambience that gives those mellifluous vocals an eerie, enigmatic quality.

Some songs fizz with the occasional tape hiss hum so familiar to the home recorder but this merely adds richness to the atmospheres presented here. Matching the music’s emotive intent, the words throughout are framed by fragility, dealing in part with the songwriter’s struggles with addiction and need for escapism. There is drama and weight behind these songs’ dark palette where a psychological shadow pervades.

Island Perimeter is an assertive and powerful debut from an ambitious and original talent that deserves to reach a wider audience. Please do give it a listen.

Written by M. A. Welsh (Misophone)