Why you haven’t heard it
This summer, on June 1, Jamie Isaac’s second album, (04:30) Idler, was released. In this masterpiece, the 23 year-old South Londoner serenades audiences with a refined voice.
Isaac’s music falls into the no-man’s-land at the intersection of R&B, jazz, soul, and electronica—it really doesn’t fit into one particular music genre. So, for listeners who might normally stick to artists in their favourite genre, Jamie Isaac’s name isn’t likely to come up very often.
And with a two-year gap from when he released his last album, Couch Baby, if you weren’t eagerly awaiting the return of Isaac like I was, you might not have heard of it.
Why it might be tough to get through
Depending on your personal preference in music, you may or may not come to like Isaac’s soft and melodic tunes. In an interview with Vice, Isaac explained that his “music will never be something you’ll put on at a party. It’s music you listen to when you have your headphones in and you’re by yourself.” So, unless you’re writing a late night paper, or album review, this may not be the first bunch of songs that you queue up.
Also, if concise and relevant lyrics are your thing, then Isaac’s songs may confuse and befuddle you. Many of the lyrics throughout (04:30) Idler don’t make sense on the surface—one song is literally about a girl eating chicken wings at 3 a.m. So, if you look for deep and meaningful lyrics in every song, then Isaac isn’t the man for you.
Why you should listen to it anyway
Featuring 11 mesmerising tracks, (04:30) Idler provides the listener with an idyllic calm. Isaac’s tender and angelic vocals intertwine with smoky piano riffs and jazz undertones. Infused with sleepy melodies and nocturnal themes throughout the album, Isaac provides listeners with a blissful serenity.
(04:30) Idler proves to be confident and self-assured follow up to his earlier Couch Baby—unlike is his previous album, these new songs are more refined, so he seems to have found his style.
Nonetheless, the album still provides a varying range of music throughout, that showcases jazz percussion, electronic melodies, and whispers of bossa nova—all showing off Isaac’s experimental nature.
- Isaac struggles with insomnia. In fact, this album was created in the early hours of the morning—which he subtly references throughout his songs and in the album’s title.
- Isaac had humble beginnings. Despite beginning music on his grandmother’s piano at the age of seven, he rose to become a professionally trained pianist—in part, due to a government grant that helped him to pursue formal education.
Best lines and songs
“Yes, I’m doing better with my sleeping, I need less time for weeping. Yes, I know it’s strange, but, I’m doing better.” (“Doing Better.)
“But I wish I’d known her, kept her by my side, listened to her eyes, back where we once were.” (“Melt.”)
“They told me I’d regret her for someone better.” (“Delight.”)