Eclectic multi-instrumentalist Mappe Of (aka Tom Meikle) has just released his sophomore album The Isle of Ailynn, an immersive concept album with classical, electronic, progressive and indie-rock influences. Each song on the record traverses an imaginative landscape, such as an enchanted estuary, a desert path to the ruins of an ancient city, and a mystic forest with a village of wise beings deep within it.
“I always had it in my head that one day I’d make a concept record,” Meikle explains. “The truth is, the concept record structure has always made the most sense to me as an approach to making a collection of music… The concept record is just the way that the front-to-back album listening experience found me first and hardest. Protest the Hero’s Kezia shaped my identity early on, and the mold has only shifted slightly since, albeit my musical pursuits have changed drastically along the way.”
Growing up listening to progressive artists like Opeth and Dream Theater, as well as the classic prog pantheon of Genesis, Yes, and King Crimson, Meikle has been inspired by the mythical worlds and sense of adventure these artists were able to conjure through their music. “Songs could stretch over entire LP sides,” he continues, “and be structured in movements like a classical composition (though at that time I had no idea that’s where it came from). There was such freedom in it.”
Watch Mappe Of perform two songs from The Isle of Ailynn, “Unkno” and “Thessalon,” live at Indie88 in the Black Box studio.