Maybe you have heard of Daniel Isaiah. In 2011, he released his debut album, High Twilight, which received positive reviews across Canada. Maybe you’ve heard of the name through Isaiah’s various film and theatre work, and he’ll soon have one of his screenplays, Passover, which reportedly based on his childhood, brought to life by Quebec production company Peripheria Inc. And if you haven’t heard of him, you might start hearing the Montreal artist’s name mentioned more frequently, especially following the release of Come Into Gone.
On his sophomore album, Isaiah takes ’80s-era music and fine tunes it into pop-rock for contemporary tastes. The resounding “Heart Attack” kicks off the album in a beautiful way – a story about life and the afterlife – that is followed by the equally stunning “Sail”. “I Had to Fight” continues the uptempo pop-rock with an infectious chorus. It’s a hip shaker of a track. “Tug of War” and “Heaven Is on Fire”, the lead single from the album, are two tracks built around Isaiah’s childhood and religious upbringing, and the songwriting on the former is outstanding.
“Mirror Soul”, which echoes of The War on Drug’s brilliant “An Ocean Between the Waves”, is a journey of self-discovery that can only be found by traveling the roads in front of us. It might be an overused cliché, but Isaiah takes his screenplay writing skills and applies them effectively on this track. “Two Brothers”, similarly, is an introspective song, but it takes a completely different and surprising tact from the rest of the album. Rooted in folk, the song tells the story of two siblings who have become separated and are divided by not only miles but also mistakes. There is a sense of regret and withdrawal in Isaiah’s voice, as he seeks to make amends with his sibling and his family.
The album, as a whole, is a personal one for Isaiah. Whether speaking in the first or third person, he shares the stories of his early years and reflects upon his feelings then and now. It’s as if he has taken his screenplay and put it into song for all to enjoy and hear. Come Into Gone is a very good album with several high points, in particular the stories that Isaiah shares wish us.
Photos by Becca Blackwood
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