Isaiah Mclaughlin - Narcissist EP - Stereo Stickman

Isaiah Mclaughlin Narcissist EP


Offering a rather sublime follow-up to the Revolution release, Isaiah Mclaughlin adopts a soulful vocal range throughout this emotive, alternative RnB-led collection that is Narcissist.

Far from content with adhering to the rules of a single genre, the project brings together ambient, often industrial yet dreamy soundscapes, with elements of both falsetto and lower-toned voice for contrast and clear emotional progression.

At Night is an easy highlight and starts things off on a strong foot. A uniquely expressive, heartfelt performance and arrangement, which leads seductively into the unpredictable and somewhat tribal tones of Like a Witch.

Production-wise there’s plenty of character here, and that vocal tone and overall writing style tips its hat back to the last release, though here we get a notably fresh look at a variety of stories and moods relating to contemporary narcissism – a thread that runs throughout the experimental sounds and ideas alike.

Shy Boy picks up the pace, injecting a strong dance vibe but juxtaposing this with a delicate voice that intrigues as it details the story of the boy. Beautiful harmonies wash over in a hypnotic fashion, laying bare something of a trip-hop inspired core that’s softly hypnotic. Once again, the voice captivates, featuring unexpected twists in melody and style – moments of subtle tremolo, rhythm changes, pace increases.

Lifting the mood a little is an unexpectedly bright and imaginative Have You Ever Wondered? As always, Isaiah connects the subject matter to the music in a profound way, allowing the entire expression of the song to work its magic – not merely the meandering freedom of the voice. There’s a touch of darkness later on, something that appears a few times throughout the EP, and is continued almost in sequel fashion across a shadowy, stop-start-driven Why Should I Care?

The title-track brings things to a decidedly dark and uncertain finish. Doubled vocals intrigue yet require perhaps a second visit for clarity of concept. Here the sound really finds its flow, offering a dash of Imogen Heap in the reverb and artistry, yet maintaining its own alternative dance-pop aura at the very same time. And still, Isaiah explores the topic in a uniquely unafraid, honest and compelling way.

A deeply personal EP, open to laying bare vulnerabilities both creatively and in terms of the intimacy of the lyrics.

Download the EP here or via iTunes. Check out Isaiah Mclaughlin on Facebook & Instagram or visit the Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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