New York indie band Isadora were brought to my attention this week and after hearing their debut single On The Rights, I requested to hear more. Their self-titled EP is out next month and it’s an awesome listen. Although they’re a very new band, they’ve already received a lot of attention in their home city and been featured in Magnet Magazine, US Interview Magazine and Under The Radar, due to their melodic bluesy indie.
Comprising of vocalist and guitarist Andrew Mendelsohn, bassist Ian Mellencamp, drummer Jesse Bilotta, guitarist and violinist Nick Burleigh and keyboardist Josh Rouah, they’re a multi-textural, multi-instrumental five-piece writing tracks with so many twists and turns, you’ll get completely lost in their dreamy pop-rock.
On The Rights opens the EP and the chilled intro tricks you into thinking it will be a calming number but by the centre of the track, you’re into a retro rock ‘n’ roll guitar and a song that has lots of big hit potential. Unexpectedness is what Isadora thrive on and it’s so refreshing to discover a band who still release original, unpredictable music.
Barcelona, which is a long way from its Freddie Mercury name-sake, incorporates the keyboard with the bass and drums in an expert manner. The indie drawl floats over the top as the instruments take centre-stage, resulting in an interesting ditty that shows all aspects of Isadora’s sound. Using the simple piano of the keyboard and the twangs of their rock sound, they’re certainly distinguishing themselves from the rest of their genre.
Falter has a definite jazz edge to it with the riff dancing to the beat. The spaced out vocals allow it to take on a dream-like form with the harmonies adding to the surreal effect. With things amping up in the instrumental, it’s the guitars that once again give it that oomph, which propels it into Handless, another spaced-out track.
More drum-based with a tribal feel to it, Handless is the track that is most like British indie. The instruments take a breather, as the vocals and harmonies become more prominent. A story-telling theme seems to be at play and it shows yet another side to this young but clearly talented band. Continuing the theme of slower tracks for the remainder of the EP, they wind down the record perfectly.
Liar has a slow acoustic opening with a lonely haunting vocal. Despite being very eerie, it’s soothing and could act as an adult lullaby, while the guitars provide all of the rise and fall it needs. A little bit of grit appears towards the end, when the alternative fuzz kicks in but it eventually fades and reverts back to the sway of the acoustic beginning, completing a full circle.
Ending on Mood Is A Bird, where we finally get a clue as to the significance of the EP artwork, shows us their many dimensions once again. It’s a slow, thoughtful hipster ballad with a soft keyboard and drum, whispering through the song. The arrival of the violin transports us to a nineteenth century, aristocratic ball, producing images of grandeur and elegance. Quirky and dainty, it ends on a tinkling musicbox sound and closes the EP with a click.
Isadora will no doubt take you on a magical, mystical journey through their many facets and perhaps inspire and entertain weird and wonderful ideas. The best way to really understand it is to just go along with it and see where you end up.