ISLE of Wight band Plastic Mermaids have found themselves in the top 20 of the official record store charts.

The band's debut album, Suddenly Everyone Explodes, was released on May 24 and this week reached number 17 as a new entry on the record store charts.

Suddenly Everyone Explodes is an adventurous, self-produced debut album by the Isle of Wight band.

Isle of Wight County Press: Cover art for Suddenly Everyone Explodes by Plastic Mermaids.Cover art for Suddenly Everyone Explodes by Plastic Mermaids.

The eclectic album has been a long time in the making and was eagerly anticipated by Plastic Mermaids’ hardcore of fans.

The band features brothers Jamie and Douglas Richards, who collaborate on vocals, synths and samples, along with guitarist Chris Newnham, bassist Tom Farren and drummer Chris Jones.

Douglas said: "It’s super cool and a slightly surreal feeling to be on a list with some really established bands.

"Very grateful to all the people who have gone out and bought our record."

Of the members of the band, Jamie is the technical one, always on hand to build or fix whatever piece of kit they need. Everything you hear on the album was recorded through an analogue desk Jamie built.

“It occurred to me,” Jamie said, “that you can get much better equipment if you are prepared to put it together yourself. I have no background in engineering or anything. I got into it out of necessity more than anything.”

Isle of Wight County Press: The barn in the woods where most of the album was conceived and recorded.The barn in the woods where most of the album was conceived and recorded.

The main bulk of the album was recorded in an outbuilding in woodland near Newtown, which was lent to the band free of charge.

When reverb was needed, the band hired out a church to record in, to give it a natural echo, rather than one synthesised digitally.

Jamie said: “Working in this analogue way means you don’t really know exactly what you are going to end up with. It’s a gamble, but it gives the songs more character.”

Chris Jones said: “It is about the journey and discovery of everything. It feels different and original.”

Everything is about attention to detail. The cover art on the album, for example, is a model village with figures bursting into flames. It is not computer generated, it actually exists in physical form.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jamie making the model for the album art.Jamie making the model for the album art.

The model was photographed a number of times as Jamie set alight to different people in the scene one by one.

The lake in the model was the hardest thing to pull off.

“We couldn’t work out what to make it from, so we used gelatin,” Douglas said. “Then it went mouldy.

“The underground rabbits are carved into a surfboard painted brown.”

They have recently finished a grotesque clay stop motion video for the song Taxonomy, in the style of the Bruce Bickford videos made for Frank Zappa.

“There was probably about 20 people who came to help us with that, most of whom we didn’t know,” Douglas said.

“It is nice to know you can put out a message on the Isle of Wight and people will want to help out.”

The same has been true for musicians that have stood in for certain tracks.

After a long edit process, the album was taken to Abbey Road Studios for mastering.

Isle of Wight County Press: Plastic Mermaids at Abbey Road Studios.Plastic Mermaids at Abbey Road Studios.

The album follows the release of three singles that were warmly received by fans and critics alike — 1996, Floating in a Vacuum and I Still Like Kelis.

Speaking about I Still Like Kelis, Douglas described it as being about “two people who used to hang out and now are in different places”.

“In the lyrics of the second verse, I sing: ‘But in a microscopic way we’re tangled up eternally, I’ll spin the same as you.’ This is a reference to quantum entanglement, a phenomenon where two particles are linked and move in the same way, even though they’re on different sides of a room — or universe even.”

In terms of musical influences, fans of The Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire, Sparklehorse and Tame Impala will all find something to love in Plastic Mermaids’ sound.

Isle of Wight County Press: Plastic Mermaids.Plastic Mermaids.

Asking Douglas, Jamie and Chris Jones about the band’s influences, they found the question hard to answer, because, they said, there were so many.

Genres as diverse as classical, jazz and electronic were thrown in by band members as they listed some of their favourite styles of music.

Douglas said: “The album as a whole has a broad twist of genres, vibes and sounds — I guess it shows our eclectic influences and the love we have for shovelling all sorts of music into our heads.”

The other big influence on Plastic Mermaids is surfing.

“We surf a lot,” Douglas said. “You think about music while bobbing around in the sea.

“There were times, recording this album, that we would come out of the sea and into the studio, and it just puts you in a certain headspace.”

Plastic Mermaids launched their new album with a gig at Strings, Newport.