Izy - Irene
Released: March 2021 Label: Hopestreet Recordings
The Bedroom Frequencies radio show has started to venture into slightly more uptempo areas of our tastes. I have acknowledged that a well-mixed project makes sounds that can be a barrier to a seamless dream experience, very palatable.
I was recently presented with Melbourne based trio Izy (pronounced eye-zee) via their single ‘Moon’ and their recent E.P ‘Irene.’ All 3 members are from uniquely musical families which explain each’s startling virtuosity. The members present a strong sense of Aboriginal and Japanese identity which adds to the depth of the work.
“This album is a tangled culmination of interpersonal relationships; love, society and land. We three are super blessed to share stories and when we connect, we amplify and respond to each other, which makes it easy to create music and get our message across for our family and our community.”
The release features 10 tracks of strange rhythm and blues inflected with an undeniable influence of D’Angelo-styled harmonies, voicings and bouncing basslines. But do not be perturbed - the project has certainly maintained its own identity, expressing a deep vulnerability in its lyrical content with strong broken swing back beats that counter as necessary.
Dry bass underpins waves of harmonies. The beautifully mixed bittersweet guitar progressions display almost traditional songwriting moments that shimmer with tremolo and delight with modal solos. The drums are consistently articulate throughout and I am fairly sure the majority of this project was played with hot rods. The snare doesn’t snap hard, it just provides the upbeat and shuffle, a musical choice I particularly appreciate. The empty sounding bass drum blends uniquely with an occasional tambourine so dry it sounds rusted, it doesn’t jingle, it just kinda jangles. Rare swells of synth and dings of Glockenspiel provide texture to the predominant Jazz trio narrative as does the insightful and unique lead vocal.
There is a sense of breeziness to the tracks, as though they have not been so meticulously rehearsed as to lose their original essence. The 10 tracks fly by, seamlessly blending into each other as effortlessly as the musicians do. Absolutely on Bedroom Frequencies, this project will delight the adept Jazz musician and Neo-Soul disciple alike.