Absolutely virtuosic lyricism. This album scratches an itch that is only rarely scratched for me by the likes of Leonard Cohen or Sibylle Baier. The production and playing is hypnotizing, both minimal and sonically full. Amazing album!!
Favorite track: When I Was Younger, I Cried.
Five years spent working and living on the family ranch informs Ismay’s debut full-length record, Songs of Sonoma Mountain. This album was recorded in a 100-year-old sheep barn at the ranch, seeking to immerse the listener in the world of Sonoma Mountain, and to evoke the sense that we aren’t as separate from nature as we may think. Co-produced by Robert Cheek (Engineer: Band of Horses, Chelsea Wolfe) and Avery Hellman, Songs of Sonoma Mountain features live vulnerable performances that bring out the character of the space. These songs tell stories from the perspective of the mountain, the animals upon it, and Ismay themself to examine gender identity, loss, and a search for belonging. The record interweaves field recordings with intricate songwriting and experimental production.