Comfortably Swell

by Penelope Isles

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  • Cassette Store Day tape ltd to 50



Happy Cassette Store Day! We’ve decided to celebrate by giving one of our favourite EP’s of recent times a proper physical release, it is of course Comfortably Swell, the debut EP from Brighton brother and sister duo Penelope Isles.

Originally self released on their own Wavey Head label, Comfortably Swell is seven tracks of wonderfully varied melodic beach pop. I often find it quite a struggle to write about music that I love so dearly, but thankfully our pal Ross has already done a pretty great job of describing what makes this release so special.

Opening slowly with each listen, the way the group engage is in their apparent ease in writing such compelling melodies. Each chorus swells with emotional value; the gentle delivery of their vocals producing the most stirring effect. Lily sings with an innate ability to evoke child-like curiosity, ‘Apple Juice‘ full of wonderment in it’s loose and adventurous moments, ‘The Loop‘ dwells on love’s disorientating nature as guitars sweep and mingle in swelling distortion, while ‘Tea‘ dreams nostalgically of the coast, patters of synth topped with another heart-wrenching chord progression through it’s chorus.

It all builds around an empathetic belief in the reminiscent romance of growing up and it’s influence on what’s happening in the very present. ‘Bad Head‘s introduction is of wishful thinking and a proactive need for change; “I’m trying to act my real self / but I don’t think it’s working.”. A plea for difference and positivity opens the record to the colourful remembrance of youth, ‘Apple Juice‘s comfort and buoyancy in simplicity is the complete antithesis; “I think I’m the better swimmer / after only two weeks” Lily’s lyrics are convivial in their simplest form, yet are penned by an irrepressible melancholy, trying to hold onto the happiest of memories that allow at least a moment of escape, “grab your bucket and spade / before the memory fades“.
If it had been left to me I would’ve just gone for the much less eloquent description of “Comfortably Swell is the sound of your favourite Beach House and Deerhunter records spinning round inside a tumble dryer full of glitter and that one good Melody’s Echo Chamber album.

As anyone who arrived early at our Label Mates party in March or our 6th Birthday in August will attest, live, these songs take on a new form as they soar and swell. Despite their early billing both times, I think I can honestly say both times they have been my favourite band I’ve seen that day. We’re really excited for whatever they come up with next, but in the meantime we thought giving this amazing EP a bit more attention served as a nice stick in the ground.


released October 8, 2016

All songs written, performed, recorded and produced by Penelope Isles, summer 2015.



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Art Is Hard Records UK

Small independent record label run by two friends, one of us works in an office and the other doesn't. The label was started by two friends influenced by the attitude and ethics of labels such as Factory, Wichita, Anticon and Dischord.

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Track Name: Bad Head
What can I do what can I change?
Please give me something I can rearrange
Eat some more fruit or behave strange
Cut all her hair to show her real age
Im trying to act my real self
But I don't think its working
I'm feeling different not my healthy face
My eyes feel heavy

I guess its boring
I guess it boring
With no bad guys
I guess its boring
Its alway yawning
With no bad guys
No bad guys

I need something to maybe happen
Something that will make me laugh

Maybe if i take whats in your left hand behind your back
The feeling that I had will carry on
Its hard and its hard and you're hard not to think of when I'm walking forwards
And I'm feeling different not my healthy face
My nose is running
Track Name: Round
She walks so physically round me
She talks so incredibly gently

We go for crystal walks, fall in love
Feel like a gentleman, soundly
Around me

Coming up closer
Coming up just to see if you're ok, we're ok
you have been round

We talk in tongues sometimes, twist in time
Swallow rhymes
This, this, this is the fix
Isn't it quick?
Minds play tricks
Track Name: Apple Juice
I think I'm a better swimmer after only two weeks
I think that all this apple juice tastes different over here

Driving by, we see pools on sides, resting just before they move on home
Watch the sky not a cloud in sight
Yet they still all find the time to moan

Yellow sun is sending everybody crazy
Can we go and get a little bit of juice

I'll wear the flowers through the sea
Swim round the rock i'll follow you
Calm me half way, one big breath
No need to panic, follow me

Orange sun is sending everybody crazy
All I think they need is just a little juice
Track Name: Tea
Crouched upon your knees
Here I sit without you, I freeze
I'm starting to feel cold again
Looking at the screen
Makes both our cheeks wet, you scream
How long has it been?
Why am I not feeling better yet?

Floating underwater
Meeting all the grains on the black floor
Sure, time will be shorter
But that is something I would live for

Pillows have dried up and out
Cups of tea on the side that you forgot about
Grab your buckets and spades
Before the memory fades
Please don't forget about

Floating underwater
Meeting all the grains on the black floor
Shore time will be shorter
But that is something I would live for
But that is something I would live for

They all love her, when she's fine inside
Track Name: Triangle Face Man
Colourful shapes on your face
I wonder where he got them
He replied with his eyes
A pause, comma, hi fen
Get me out of here, sail away, let me skip a day
She, she is gonna eat you

Tell your sister
Walk the wet floors
Take your shoes off
Find the money
Give the money
Find the money

Lay me down beside you
Drink my hands and float through

Please don't let the sun go down
On your rage

Tell your sister
Walk the wet floors
Take your shoes off
Find the money
Give the money
Find the money
Track Name: The Loop
Time it goes slowly
Dripping from a tap, tap tap
Pretend that every things okay
Although I broke my back

Then they go quickly
Another one again, relay
Im stuck on loop
Im stuck on loop
And then another again

Feel love again
Feel love again

Don't be so sly
And maybe don't be shy, behave
The treasure lies under our eyes
But I'm all for it
Just need a little cool down inside
The pressure finds and burns my mind
I'm feeling heavy again

Feel love again
Feel love again
Track Name: Comfortably Swell
Trust me I'm not all those things
Don't say words that I can't understand
Let's just lie down

Dirty faces touch for sunrise
Does this mean?
My eyes are yours to keep for ever
Cus they're mine
I think they're mine

I feel uncomfortably well
Comfortably swell
They're unsure
I just can't tell
I wanna know

Your not being loud enough
Just scream at me
Oh I think my my smile's melted off
Its on the floor

I feel uncomfortably well
Comfortably swell
They're unsure
I just can't tell
I wanna know