We had the great pleasure to have our friends from Montreal, Inland Island, visit Studio 549 while on the west coast leg of their tour. Poetic and fittingly open, Inland Island is upfront and honest to the listener. With Avalon Rossignol-Tassonyi on vocals and guitar and Ellan Belshaw on the drums, they draw on the push and pulls of the surrounding atmosphere, tackling issues in a messed up world and were we all fit within it. Inland Island is most intimate and engaging while sipping a cup of tea, contemplating your life goals.
Inland Island’s early history in song writing started off as any aspiring artists, releasing self-recordings in hopes to bait the hook to more and more inspiration. Leading from this, Avalon and Ellan explored something more conceptual and more full. That’s when Zsa Zsa’s Window Opens Slowly was born. The opening song Rake, with its brights horns and a joyful melody, slowly builds in additional instruments. Strings take space and evolve around Avalon’s pleasantly calming vocals. A real step up from their bedroom recordings, it is something quite full. Their latest full length release, Step Right Up, builds off the original tapestry of bedroom/indie rock, with vibes of pop influenced anticipation. Avalon’s passionate vocals are delivered in a sense of urgency while pop punk chords build up the foundation around the rest of the music. Although a lot of the topics Avalon sings about are heavy, society driven issues, they have a joyful and almost silly way of presenting it. Poking and having a laugh can really ease the pain. Inland island isn’t so much politically charged, but perhaps, informatively driven. Wanting to bring to light social and justice issues, war, peace, love, the time even.
Inland Island recently took some time here in the Gulf Islands to write and record. In that time, they have released two singles. January 29th, which is in direct relation to the Quebec mosque shooting that occurred last year in 2017, and the racism that grows unkempt in a nation. It describes the incident in an honest and brutal accident. They focus on the attacker’s reason, asking why? -“What leads a man to be filled with such malice, that he goes to a mosque and just kill them, what leads someone to be filled with such hatred, probably a whole entire system” - I’m just going to leave that here and let that simmer.
Be sure to catch Inland Island at the Adelaide Hall in Toronto on February 23rd, 2018.