There’s a new sin­gle just out by alt-pop band Firesta­tions, called Small Island. The track is tak­en from their upcom­ing EP, due to be released on Novem­ber 6th on the Lost Map label.

Small Island is the first instal­ment of a new mul­ti-EP project titled Auto­mat­ic Ten­den­cies – the first of three EPs set to be released dig­i­tal­ly and on lim­it­ed-edi­tion CD‑R over a six-month peri­od. It embraces a mix­tape aes­thet­ic with each release includ­ing alter­na­tive “sunken” ver­sions by the band as well as cov­ers and remix­es of new Firesta­tions mate­r­i­al by oth­er artists.

I first saw Firesta­tions back in 2014 ago as part of The End fes­ti­val in north Lon­don. There was some­thing cap­ti­vat­ing about their sound so not long after I head­ed to Wild Card Brew­ery in Waltham­stow for the launch of their debut album Nev­er Clos­er. They signed to Lost Map and in 2018 released fol­low-up album The Year Dot.

Lis­ten­ing to the new EP, it is evi­dent Firesta­tions have refined and devel­oped their music but the foun­da­tions of their sound are still there: that effort­less breezy charm over­lay­ing mul­ti-lay­ered com­po­si­tions that, sat­is­fy­ing­ly, reveal more on sub­se­quent plays. The har­monies of vocal­ists Michael Cran­ny and Lau­ra Copsey are one of Firesta­tions’ strengths and they are reas­sur­ing­ly lush on Auto­mat­ic Ten­den­cies.

The new songs are con­cerned as the band says, with “iden­ti­ty, belong­ing, progress and escapism.” Fair­ly top­i­cal sub­jects then. Small Island is about find­ing ways to “embrace an inclu­sive islander men­tal­i­ty when the dom­i­nant nar­ra­tive seems to be stuck in slow motion or on repeat.” If you let it wash over you, you can appre­ci­ate the hazy beau­ty of the song; lis­ten to the lyrics and it becomes suf­fused with melancholia.

The open­ing track New Device is a gauzy, rather sum­mery affair which has grown on me since first hear­ing. I par­tic­u­lar­ly love the track Green­mount (Sunken Ver­sion) in which song­writer Mike Cran­ny “looks clos­er to home and exam­ines ambiva­lent feel­ings towards his own sense of belong­ing and iden­ti­ty.” It’s a more propul­sive, mus­cu­lar track, the expres­sive har­monies with a yearn­ing edge – there’s too some­thing in the play­ful, euphor­ic chord shifts that sounds a lit­tle like Djan­go Django. 

Band mem­ber and visu­al artist Lau­ra Copsey has curat­ed col­lec­tions of spe­cial art­works that expand on the ideas with­in each release. The lead track from each project – begin­ning with Small Island – will be released as part of Lost Map’s PostMap Club sub­scrip­tion series of post­card releas­es, and accom­pa­nied by col­lab­o­ra­tive, exper­i­men­tal videos.

Avail­able to pre order now (with instant down­load) at

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