Published Jul 09, 2019Listening to Until the Tide Creeps In makes you feel like you're falling asleep on a beach in the middle of summer, except it's cold and rainy and your clothes are soaked — but you don't care. True to its title, Penelope Isles' debut deals with themes about water and its power to wash anew, while saying goodbye to the past.
Songwriting siblings Jack and Lily Wolter, of Penelope Isles, trade vocal duties throughout the album, and though they write and compose independently, Until the Tide Creeps In feels cohesive. Jack's songs are a bit more riff-heavy and grandiose ("Gnarbone," "Cut Your Hair") than Lily's delicate, muted melodies ("Leipzig," "Looking For My Eyes First"), but the similar haunting vocal styles and mellow tempos tie the tracks together.
Standout tracks "Chlorine" and "Round" start the album off strong, but the downside is that the rest of the album feels drawn out, with more valleys than peaks. If you're not actively listening to each track, it can feel like the album is a long interlude that fades into the background. The guitar melodies are interesting enough, but the vocals are flat — there's no force behind the vocalists, and at times it feels like a weak sigh of dreary lyrics. (Bella Union)