Label: Tantrum Records Release date: 01/11/10 Website: Myspace Buy: Amazon 6 Day Riot: Tamara Schlesinger’s voice and ukulele, an upright bass, a violin, a guitar and the odd trumpet. The London based folk/pop/calypso five piece release second album on the back of their exceptionally well received debut album Folie a Deux. Is On This Island more than the sum of the above parts? In hindsight, the softly epic wordless harmony that opens the album really sets the tone for the rest of the tracks. There is none of the dramatic stylistic switch ups that can so often signify too much pressure or a dearth of good ideas on the dreaded second album, but it is nevertheless an absolutely awesome continuation of their sound. Aforementioned opening track ‘Take Me’ effortlessly combines reggae guitar upstrokes and the band’s lush instrumentation to perfectly soundtrack the swaying of palm trees. It’s a beautiful track, but is yet easily surpassed by the heart wrenchingly enticing vocal melody of ‘Raise Your Head’. Then, whether it be the folk breakdown in ‘Out To Sea’ or the more tender ballad ‘For Anne’, the tunes shimmer from one exotic colour to the next like the peacock feathers that seem a permanent fixture of Schlesinger headpiece. The overall instrumentation, sense of harmony and melody is also unrelentingly top drawer. Schlesinger’s voice (again, for better or worse) tends to avoid ever feeling twee, but there certainly is something a little special about it; the way it flits between childish innocence and coquettish world-weariness. And it’s a varied collection of sounds, the latter half of the album especially toning down the ska influences and dialling up the contemplative folk ballad sensibilities. 6 Day Riot prove equally adept at both. 6 Day Riot are on a serious run of good form. On This Island bring together a wealth of influences that are rarely combined, and it’s rarer still that they’re melded together with such confidence and innate talent. It’s bewitching in a totally non-sinister sense and the slide the album makes from start to finish is wonderfully pitched, paced, and conceived. Just get it.