Isaiah Mclaughlin kicks up a Storm with this deeply hypnotic, ambient and emotive EP – the last to emerge for the foreseeable future, classically rooted in Isaiah’s sound but notably dreamy in its own uniquely interesting way.
As an opening track, Veins works beautifully – perhaps even a highlight from the entire Isaiah Mclaughlin catalogue. The multi-layered ambiance unites gorgeously with the breathy, meandering vocal, and there’s also plenty of pause, space, short-form ideas, all taking on a new identity but still holding close to the recognisable tone of the artist.
Six originals make up the EP Storm, a project that celebrates artistic expression, taking subtle influence from MJ and Prince but ultimately maintaining a defiant level of character and musical intention of its own.
You Are feels more haunting, as per the Isaiah creative way. The lyrics intrigue, feeling intimate, personal yet distant and something of a second voice to the music.
The Closet takes intrigue even further, the opening lyric whispering an immediately poignant scene in a trembling vocal style – alongside a briefly relentless beat. As always, there are depths to Isaiah’s writing, layers of truth and fearless vulnerability, often hidden but always there if you’re willing to look.
With Devotion we get that familiar style again, the tremolo, the uncertainty, and a notable resolve for the hook. Then there’s a sudden brightness to Pain, juxtaposing its concept with a strange degree of musical, synth-led brightness and energy.
The title-track Storm closes things down with a creatively free-flowing soundscape and a sense of rising and falling intensity. Again, the details aren’t easy to pinpoint, but personal emotions and references stand out on occasion to draw you in, and the music keeps on evolving and changing throughout this final chapter.
Isaiah Mclaughlin remains one of the most freely expressive, distinctive indie artists around, and this final project shines a striking light on these qualities.