Soaring instrumentals of chaotic layers and delicacy combined intertwine throughout the unmistakable sound of Isaiah Mclaughlin‘s latest album Afterlife.
Personal storytelling and the ever-recognisable warbling tones of Isaiah’s voice meander throughout an alternative electronic realm, as Ray Of Light and Will You Follow It? guide us into the project. The former provokes thought, intrigues and shares vulnerabilities, the latter showcases a uniquely rising, wave-like melodic progression, with unpredictable synth solo moments making strong use of the space between vocals.
We then get a shift in mood for the lighter tones and the catchy dance rhythm of Lilith, before an intriguingly-titled Khalessi jitters into view for another unorthodox stream of consciousness. Forever drenched in reverb and effects, the voice holds closely to its sense of character, but the lyrics take a back seat in favour of overall cinematic intention. This particular track, however, allows certain words to pierce through the ambience, for a darker and more striking look at the inspirations behind it.
Tripped rhythms later hit well for Summer Breeze, before detailed design and space allow San6 to stand out for its own reflective presence. Dissonance remains a key trait, with uncertainty in the quietness and the tremor contrasted by boldness of topic and production alike.
Highlights include the distortion and short phrases of an all-commanding Lies, the contrasting simplicity and vocal minimalism of Deceived, and the pairing of soulful adlibs and industrial drumlines throughout Ghost.
There’s also something to appreciate about the implied brightness and optimism of a penultimate Make A Change, before the title-track brings things to an hypnotic and conceptually poignant finish.
Download or stream Afterlife here. Check out Isaiah McLaughlin of Facebook & Instagram.