10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the recording studio, Isbells is just Gaetan Vandewoude, and his "less is more" aesthetic puts his music in eerie company with the likes of Bon Iver, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Vic Chesnutt, and others who've been known for stripping back arrangements until hardly any components are left. This Belgian artist expands the band for live shows, adding three full-time members. Whether they made it to the shed next to Vandewoude's house in the Belgian countryside for these recordings is unknown; it sounds as if he's gotten help with harmonies and horns on "Illusion" and "One Day." This sophomore release continues with the haunting grace of Isbells' self-titled debut. Its warm, folk-like sound recalls Paul Simon with its mellow and literate composure, but with a harmonious style that's been explored in recent years by Beach House and Bon Iver. Nothing, however, beats the simple scrape of the guitar heard on the Appalachian blues of "Erase and Detach"; the acoustic-stringed instruments moan as the vocals, in deep reverb, take over the tune for three lonely minutes, and then the tone shifts in the most dramatic way.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the recording studio, Isbells is just Gaetan Vandewoude, and his "less is more" aesthetic puts his music in eerie company with the likes of Bon Iver, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Vic Chesnutt, and others who've been known for stripping back arrangements until hardly any components are left. This Belgian artist expands the band for live shows, adding three full-time members. Whether they made it to the shed next to Vandewoude's house in the Belgian countryside for these recordings is unknown; it sounds as if he's gotten help with harmonies and horns on "Illusion" and "One Day." This sophomore release continues with the haunting grace of Isbells' self-titled debut. Its warm, folk-like sound recalls Paul Simon with its mellow and literate composure, but with a harmonious style that's been explored in recent years by Beach House and Bon Iver. Nothing, however, beats the simple scrape of the guitar heard on the Appalachian blues of "Erase and Detach"; the acoustic-stringed instruments moan as the vocals, in deep reverb, take over the tune for three lonely minutes, and then the tone shifts in the most dramatic way.

TITLE TIME
3:24
3:58
3:45
4:39
4:26
4:56
4:04
3:30
2:37
4:53

About Isbells

Initially a solo vehicle for Gaëtan Vandewoude, formerly the drummer in blues-rock band Ellroy and guitarist in emo outfit Soon, Isbells' acoustic folk sound has drawn comparisons to the likes of Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes. Having written most of his 2009 self-titled debut alone in an old stable, Vandewoude then recruited Naima Joris, Bart Borremans, and Gianni Marzo in order to take the record on the road, performing 140 gigs over an 18-month period and supporting the likes of Megafaun and the Low Anthem. A slow-burning word-of-mouth success that sold 10,000 copies in Belgium alone, Isbells was followed up in 2012 with Stoalin'. ~ Jon O'Brien

  • ORIGIN
    Belgium

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