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  • Nathan Yoder

Recommended Listening: Izzy Johnson - Earth Tones

Every so often I get the urge to create a playlist around a theme. Sometimes I'll edit one across weeks, eventually sharing a bloated finished product. Other times I'll throw a mix together on a whim, without much thought at all.

Just last week I realized it had been a while since my last playlist, and thought that it might be nice to construct a sort of dreamy summertime soundtrack. Imagine, like, the sort of music you could slowly fall asleep to in a sunny backyard. I was in the early stages of this project when, on Friday, I heard Izzy Johnson's Earth Tones. Turns out that they already made a dreamy summertime soundtrack, and it's perfect.

Johnson's intricate acoustic fingerpicking acts as the structure for each of the ten tracks on Earth Tones. Sometimes clean electric shines though, other times soft flute, but Johnson's ethereal vocals are the other constant. Their songs feel both hazy and serene - think Julie Byrne's pastoral folk clouded with a bit more reverb. You really must hear it for yourself. The first songs, Intro and Opening unfold slowly into Loving and Existing - two album highlights. Honestly, Loving might be the most beautiful song I've heard this year (see + hear for yourself below), and the final minute of Existing wouldn't be out of place wedged in the middle of Astral Weeks. In the album's second half, Letting Go shimmers brightly, and lead single Seeing closes the album as softly as it began.

Earth Tones is out now on the excellent Driftless Recordings, and you can find it to stream and purchase through this Bandcamp link. Izzy Johnson's album is surely one that will get a lot of plays in this house over the coming months, and I recommend that you give it a spin or two, yourself. They've gifted us the perfect sonic companion for summer days ahead.


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