For musicians and touring artists in general, the lockdown was undoubtedly harsh and, while some hid under the covers and binged on Netflix while their livelihoods crashed around them, two former islanders rented a windswept cottage, hid themselves away and wrote a new album.

Penelope Isles, featuring brother and sister duo Jack and Lily Wolter, recently released ’Which Way to Happy’, their second album, the follow-up to their hugely successful debut album ’Until the Tide Creeps In’.

Written over a tumultuous year and a half, the new album takes what made their debut such an infectious delight and builds on them with a far more tighter production, bringing the best out of Jack and Lily’s lush harmonies.

Produced by Dave Fridmann, who has also been behind groups such as Mogwai, MGMT and Mercury Rev, the album features 11 songs full of the band’s core sounds of psychedelic pop and jangling guitars, veering between Dinosaur Junior and the Magic Numbers, from furiously catchy, radio friendly songs, such as ’Terrified’ and ’Iced Gems’ to more tender moments, typified by ’11 11’, featuring tear-streaked vocals by Lily over a string arrangement, played by Fiona Brice, whose credits include John Grant and Placebo.

However, it wasn’t an easy rode getting the new album written. After a hard couple of years constantly touring and recording, securing themselves a place in the hearts of many BBC Radio Six DJs, including Steve Lamacq along the way, Penelope Isles were already facing an upheaval in personnel, before they were hit by the endless lockdowns.

Bassist Becky Redford had already left the band by the time the remaining members had decided to take themselves off to Cornwall to hide away and write the second album.

While settling down and looking forward to exploring their new creative space, the lockdown struck, leaving the members confined to the house for an undetermined length of time.

’It actually suited us as we wanted to "lockdown" and get lost in the songs,’ said Jack.

’We’d planned on surfing and doing barbeques and what not in between recording sessions.

’But as weren’t allowed to go out, it soon got pretty claustrophobic and it definitely had its challenges.

’I think both Lily and I had a lot more time to think about things.

’We had been touring so much pre-Covid so there was a big gap in our lives not being able to tour.

’I think lyrically it’s a lot more literal and honest and less mystical or abstract than the last album.

’We have certainly had time to reflect and work a few things out.’

There are many familiar themes running through Penelope Isles that carry on into the new album, from the ties with coastlines and walking head-on into the wind, a lasting influence from their time living in the Isle of Man, to strong family bonds, from the name of the band, to the picture of their father as a young man on the debut album and also to the relationship between Jack and Lily, which survived the time holed up in Cornwall.

’I think the love for each other’s music and drive and wanting to make a living out of it has kept us tight just as much as the family thing,’ he said.

’It’s a respect for each other. That’s not to say there hasn’t been some moments during the harder parts of lockdown.

Stick anyone in a small cottage together for two months and see what happens.’

A favourite childhood moment even features on the cover of the album, which is where the extremely photogenic pig comes in.

’The album artwork is a painting I made of my old piggy teddy bear, which I lost on a family holiday. It was my first heart break.

’We thought we’d rented a miniature pig for the photoshoot and that thing turned up.’