For those unfamiliar of the band Mappe Of, you are in for a musical journey not easily found on a sophomore effort. On The Isle of Ailynn, singer/songwriter Tom Meikle is as captivating as anyone in the indie music scene right from the first notes of the record. Kicking off the set with the musical landscape of “Estuary,” it’s clear that Meikle is not afraid to take some calculated risks with his music. From falsetto vocals, to carefully plucked guitars, Mappe Of has a lot going for it on their second record.
Mappe Of sounds to me like a mix between some acoustically-driven Coheed & Cambria tracks, with some elements of jazz, and dream pop in the style of bands such as Beach House. Overall, Mappe Of are at their best when they allow their songs to breathe and let the music flow through them. It makes for a hell of a ride for the listeners’ experience, and I would recommend listening to this album through a good set of headphones not to miss any of the intricate moments found here.
Other essential tracks on the record are the tender ballad, “Thessalon,” which is filled with some brilliant acoustic guitar blended with some beautiful piano interludes that complement Meikle’s vocal delivery nicely. “Unkno” was the first single released from the record, and for a good reason, it does a great job of encapsulating what Meikle is capable of creating on this sprawling album. The single also allows him to showcase his impressive vocal range with some well-placed falsetto that hangs with the best singers in the indie rock scene.
Overall, The Isle of Ailynn is not a record that you can throw into a playlist and casually listen to it. Instead, it’s much more appropriate to immerse yourself into Meikle’s world created here by playing it from start to finish, just as he intended. Under the right circumstances, and by avoiding any outside distractions during your listening experience, you should come to appreciate what Mappe Of has put into existence.