Compact Disc (CD), Vinyl LP
Consisting of drummer Maru Nitor-Zammataro, guitarist Ryo Montgomery, and bassist Warrigo Tyrell, Melbourne-based trio Izy steps out with a debut that is as progressive and singular as it is rooted in the time-honored traditions of soul and R&B music. Irene combines deft instrumentation and songwriting with creative arrangements to create a sound that could be a friendly bridge between the rich, earthen vibe of D’Angelo’s Voodoo and Omar Lye-Fook’s breezy, sophisticated soul.
The album opens with “Moon,” a sweet and dreamy love ballad. Tyrell’s image-rich lyrics illustrate a romantic desire taken to nearly religious depths of reverence and devotion: “The earth lies in front of me/ Sun goes down for night to recover/ Your face that hides behind that moon/ Peeks through each and everything.”
From the sunny, psychedelic funk of “Frantic” to the bluesy, head-nodding groove of “Don’t Turn Off Your Light,” the album is a diverse and impressive listen. The songs are complex and crafted with care, while the vocal and instrumental performances are passionate and nuanced. Displaying a clear mastery of a wide range of music and emotions, there is nothing about Irene that sounds or feels like a band’s debut. The music here is mature and daring, leaving one to wonder what Izy will do next.