Saturday, August 4, 2007
Isaac Arms: Old Artificer (2007)
Blanketarms was a twosome band from Illinois featuring the lovely couple Isaac Arms and Leila Grey. They sang with such purity it broke your heart and put it back together at the same time. I wish so much every time I listen that I could be in love as much as they are together. However this review isn’t about Blanketarms, it is about Isaac’s solo EP Old Artificer. Released earlier this year, it is by far my favorite of 2007. Containing eight songs, they go by quickly, but it makes it easy to listen to them multiple times; and you will. Scribbled on a note with the album, Isaac tells me that these songs were written while living in his old apartment in East Champaign. This solo record is a snapshot of feelings, memories, musings, and revelations written during a time of uncertainty about the future. Emotion is the keyword here, but it is coupled with a fragility so delicate you are almost afraid to listen for fear of your own emotional stability. In the album’s best song, “Us Vs. Stuff” Isaac recalls the war of living in the “real world” and being so determined to survive because the one he loves will give each other the strength to transcend anything. “And I may never be enough/ but I will swear that I will pull out all my hair/ ‘till its plain to everyone/ you got every gallon of my love.” He sings this with a touch of self-deprecation, but it never gets melodramatic. That can be said for the entire album. This music is so affecting because I know the things Isaac has gone through are real, never embellished. His voice is the sound of hope from experience. I am sad as I write this review because I know only twenty-five copies of this EP were made. So I ask you all to go to his Myspace as well as his record label Pop Monster Collective (And get all the other great lo-fi music!) and beg for him to make more copies. These songs deserve to be heard by everyone; just be careful, you will fall to pieces.
Us Vs. Stuff
Myspace: Hear three other songs!
Pop Monster Collective
PMC site: So many great bands