​Review: Islands by Ollie Dixon

Words by: Shannon Beech

Once again, indie-folk musician Ollie Dixon is gracing our website with his presence. Now with both new band member Lee Croad and the beautifully written, atmospherically shot and anxiously anticipated song Islands.

There is much to be said about this track. On my first listening, my partner quickly stated that it sounded like it belongs on the acclaimed soundtrack of the 2019 game Death Stranding, well renowned for being ethereal and resounding in its world-building. Admittedly, I kicked myself for not making that connection first!

The intro to the song teases us with a light guitar trill before moving into its flowing and airy vocals about leaving something unnamed behind to start anew. The music video (filmed by Abbie Barton) showcases Ollie looking lost in a dense, claustrophobic forest. Mirrored by shots of him calmly strolling an equally deserted but vast beach, this paints a picture of escaping an entrapping mindset in search of uncertain futures and freedoms.

The slight echo of the folky vocals perfectly encapsulates the oxymoron of the soothing daunting nature of the wide-open scenery, creating a melody of hopeful loneliness, as if the climax of the chorus is the pivotal moment in cautiously breaking free of what you’re used to in search for something important.

This not only symbolically resonates with Ollie’s experience of searching for meaning but also his self-proclaimed journey towards breaking down his personal walls and letting new people into his life.

ollie dixon

Being that this is the first song co-written with Lee Croad, we can certainly see the more subtle and personal poetic expression of the band members’ real-life experiences in this track. Ollie and Lee have distinctively understood the use of indie-folk instrumentals in creating audible stories of hope and opportunity. 

The mellow anticipation of the guitar remains pacifying, and the building of the allusive triumphant impression of the (almost) celebratory drums transports you to a place of exciting uncertainty and youthful aspiration as if by just listening to it, you’re suddenly the main character of a moving and expressive indie film.

Islands is available now on all major streaming platforms.

Ollie’s Instagram: @olliedixon
Listen to the track: Islands