Wednesday, November 9, 2011


     Izabella Sawicka, hailing from Poland, dropped this pretty sweet EP under the moniker Izes about a week ago. A three-track compilation, I'm pretty sure most people won't understand the eerily experimental edge she's sharpened her debut effort into, and I'll be the first to agree that I'm not in love with every moment either. Yet, with that covered, the singer-songwriter has managed to craft something amazingly unique, a feat that is well worth listening to for the mere experience, if nothing else. The EP is title-less, which is apt considering the mysterious, haunting atmosphere of the tracks contained within it. They whisper and wail in eternal lament, throbbing in the darkness without body or face to behold. Their writhing thoughts creep up on you with unexpected ardency, an intimacy only hinted at through the tired, conceding delicacy expressed on the EPs stunning cover.
     The first panel to this ominous triptych arrives under the name 'Purgatory's Gate', a title that drags behind it uneasy, somewhat mythological connotations. A song composed almost entirely of spoken word, the singing is saddening in its noticeable pain. The scene is set, high atop a mountain, barraged on all sides by the frustrations of many an angry God. The oracle sits, her white skin glistening under an eternal storm. Exposed to the elements and to the whims of her masters, this young woman screams a scream that ricochets off of your heart. It vibrates within your very being, and yearns to be free of mortal chains. To all those who have done her wrong, a menacing, sinister plea leaves her lips: "Let me see how your soul looks like". From the prolonged notes to the reverberating bass, a subtle drum beat races like a heartbeat, pulsing and steady and subtly almighty. During the final seconds of the track, this rhythm departs however, leaving you alone with all the ambiance and the upset and the fear. It's a truly beautiful number given the time, and I love it. Improvised drums and a perfectly embedded trumpet are the highlight of the next track, 'No Future'. Izabella's vocals are pitched wonderfully in their whispering aesthetic, though are ultimately drowned out by the song's beautifully chaotic climax. Up to now, I've been totally mesmerised by the EP, but it's the final number 'Blood' which stops it being a must-have. The other two songs have been 'out there', but 'Blood' has drifted off-course in its effort to go further. The instrumentation is fine, as is the exceptional ending, but the vocals didn't click for me. They reach a ridiculously high pitch at parts (0.55), which, in my opinion don't work at all. They're almost laughable when you consider the serious, thoughtful nature of the other tracks, which is slightly disappointing.
     Nevertheless, this humbly untitled effort is unlike anything you've heard before, and is well worth the non-existent price tag required for a download. Grab all three songs over at the Bandcamp here, and keep your eye on Izes. If this is what she can create for her debut, I am all for keeping my ears firmly pricked in her direction. Stream the opening track 'Purgatory's Gate' below, and ready yourself for the dive into experimental dystopia: