Clash Magazine

Next Wave: Port Isla

port isla

“As is the case with a lot of things, I tend to find that the best songs are those that drop into your head out of nowhere,” discloses Port Isla frontman, Will Bloomfield, speaking to Clash about his band’s new EP, while waiting for a bus.

“The melody for ‘In The Long Run’ came to me when I was mowing the lawn,” he continues. Having formed almost four years ago while studying at the University of East Anglia, their self-released debut EP ‘Steamroller’ earned the band a support slot with George Ezra on his sold-out UK tour, as well as a deal with legendary label Parlophone. Next up for the foursome is a new EP, ‘In The Long Run’, released November 23rd. Watch the video below, premiering on Clash.

“Having spent so long doing everything ourselves, we were a little worried that we’d lose some control with a label on board,” says Bloomfield of his new colleagues. “But it’s been the exact opposite. They were super supportive and kind of just left us to it, and even let us continue to design the artwork. I saw a physical copy of the EP yesterday and had a little moment when I saw our name next to the Parlophone logo. It’s mental.”

The EP was recorded in a variety of settings, taking in sessions at the band’s rehearsal space beneath a tube line and by the sea in Bloomfield’s Suffolk hometown, featuring help from friends Chris Denman and producer Charlie Hugall. “When Charlie mentioned Dirty Projectors and Beyoncé in the same sentence, we knew he was our man.”

Citing influences that range from The Weeknd to Bruce Springsteen, as well as attracting comparisons to the likes of Fleet Foxes and Band Of Horses, it’s impossible to avoid the folk qualities that seep into Port Isla’s mix, reminiscent of bands such as Noah & The Whale and The Mispers.

Currently on tour with James Bay, no set-in-stone debut album plans have been confirmed, although the four has been working towards an LP release for the past three years.

“We constantly strive to write better songs, so we’ll just have to wait and see! All we know is that we want to get a lot more touring under our belts before we put it out. You can expect some big songs with plenty of colour and variety. We just want to put out the best collection of songs we can.”

While the album remains incomplete, the band is set to return to the studio, again with Hugall, before the year is out, to work upon a third EP. “We might even put out a Christmas song if we’re feeling festive!”

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WHAT: Great British indie-folk, executed properly

WHERE: London via Norwich

GET THREE SONGS: ‘In The Long Run’, ‘Sinking Ship’, ‘Steamroller’

FACT: The band’s bassist, Willem, is a fantastic chef, who often rustles up some incredible post-show dishes for his bandmates. “He’s like a silent midnight pasta ninja,” says Bloomfield.

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Words: Jonathan Hatchman

Read the original article online at

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