What does Izzy Oram Brown sound like?
Post-Americana for the comedown.
The review of Izzy Oran Brown – Mess
Brooklyn-based guitarist and singer-songwriter Izzy Oram Brown’s debut record “Mess” is a delicate affair. Taking the guitar, she turns each of her songs in a long winding wriggle of a melody that slowly uncovers a song like the daily cycle of a sunline. Unrushed, hazy and dewy. For fans of songwriters who revel in muted indie folk – this release is for you.
Each track is guitar-focused and based. Be it the broken open strums of closing ballad “Older Now”, with its country undertones or the snaking melodies of hypnotic “Untitled 1”, the acoustic (and sometimes electric) guitar is the backbone of Izzy’s work. She has a penchant for taking a song around the houses with multiple half melodies or motifs that then create the whole. It’s an unusual approach at times but it lets each song breathe and it plays into Brown’s tender sadness vibe. There’s plenty of subtle hazy production across the guitars, drum machines and vocals but not to the point you’ll be shoegazing. Instead, it’s all about softer, softest approaches. How can that sucker punch be a kiss instead? By playing gently, slightly deflatedly and adding a greasy smear to the vocals.
Largely, this works. “Mess” has several tracks that are on the better end of indie folk, without reinventing the wheel. The title track is a really strong introduction to Izzy’s work, sounding like a playing Joni Mitchell. “Without You” sees Brown spread her wings into effects and synths in an understated beauty too. Elsewhere, some of the other tracks feel a little too clunky and stuck in the dirge for my personal taste. If you like indie folk that really takes its time to drag the beat through the mud though, you’ll be in your element here. Izzy Oram Brown has definite talent though. This release was perhaps a little too tender and indirect for me but I can absolutely hear the appeal for others. Bump the score up a bit if you want to revel in lightly strummed sadness.
Recommended track: Mess
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