Belfast, County Antrim
Ex-Isles is a new collaboration between Belfast-based singer-songwriter Peter Devlin and composer James Joys. After collaborating on tracks on two James Joys records, 'Glyphic Bloom' (2013) and 'Devil Repent!' (2014) they decided to form a dedicated project for their distinctive take on pop music on their return to Belfast. Their debut album, 'Luxury Mass', produced by James, will be released on 14th September 2018.
Listeners will be drawn in by the dark swoon of their music and the sly wit of their lyrics. Their brooding and expansive piano-led sound is a nod to enigmatic pop figures like Scott Walker, David Sylvian, John Grant, ANOHNI, and late era-David Bowie; a captivating blend of Joys’s evocative arrangements, and Devlin’s crooning baritone.
Inspired as much by writers like Deborah Levy, Lydia Davis, Ann Quin, and John Berger as they are by pop music, their songs explore the hypocrisies of nationalism, the tragic figurations of the displaced, and our growing alienation from agency over our own lives under capitalism.
As well as Ex-Isles, the pair have collaborated with the world-renowned Codetta Choir in Derry to write a six-part choral work called A Constellation Of Bargained Parts, performed on the 6th October 2018. It has been commissioned by Belfast’s Moving On Music as part of their 'Emerging Artist' award.
The pair are currently working on a follow-up EP to their debut album that explores the normalisation of the intersecting horrors of constant war and hyper-nationalism.