13 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With influences as diverse as Leonard Cohen, Mark Kozelek and Leadbelly, Colorado’s Gregory Alan Isakov has been making a name for himself the last few years in both singer/songwriter and indie-folk circles. Hooking up with Brandi Carlile for a 2009 tour and gracing his fourth album with her presence, Isakov seems to be making a move to push his career to the next level. The songs here deserve a wider audience (not that his earlier work didn’t!), as they radiate more emphatically, and linger a little longer when the last track ends. With strings that bow and billow, gently brushed drums and guitars, and a wonderfully just-raw-enough voice, tracks like the lilting “Light Year” and the quietly anthemic “Evelyn” are easily branded as some of his best work. Carlile’s strong, sinuous voice on tunes like “That Moon Song” and “If I Go, I’m Goin” adds inestimable depth to the collection, and the restraint used on tunes as delicate and tranquil as Leonard Cohen’s “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong” and “Dandelion Wine” is to be admired. An excellent next step in Isakov’s musical development.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With influences as diverse as Leonard Cohen, Mark Kozelek and Leadbelly, Colorado’s Gregory Alan Isakov has been making a name for himself the last few years in both singer/songwriter and indie-folk circles. Hooking up with Brandi Carlile for a 2009 tour and gracing his fourth album with her presence, Isakov seems to be making a move to push his career to the next level. The songs here deserve a wider audience (not that his earlier work didn’t!), as they radiate more emphatically, and linger a little longer when the last track ends. With strings that bow and billow, gently brushed drums and guitars, and a wonderfully just-raw-enough voice, tracks like the lilting “Light Year” and the quietly anthemic “Evelyn” are easily branded as some of his best work. Carlile’s strong, sinuous voice on tunes like “That Moon Song” and “If I Go, I’m Goin” adds inestimable depth to the collection, and the restraint used on tunes as delicate and tranquil as Leonard Cohen’s “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong” and “Dandelion Wine” is to be admired. An excellent next step in Isakov’s musical development.

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About Gregory Alan Isakov

Singer/songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he began touring with a band at the age of 16 before eventually relocating to Colorado to hone his chops as a solo artist. Influenced by the rural blue-collar lyricism of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Kelly Joe Phelps, and Leonard Cohen, it wasn't long before Isakov's own blend of dusty folk and moody Americana began turning heads. He released his debut album, Rust Colored Stones, in 2003, followed by Songs for October (2005), That Sea, the Gambler (2007), and The Empty Northern Hemisphere (2009), the latter of which spawned the single "If I Go, I'm Goin," which appeared in the fourth season of the popular Showtime series Californication. Arriving in 2013, The Weatherman included the singles "Time Will Tell" and "Suitcase Full of Sparks," the latter of which was featured on an episode of the popular NBC crime thriller The Blacklist, and in 2016 he released the ambitious Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony, which saw him reworking material from past albums with a full orchestra. ~ James Christopher Monger

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