To some, Alex Isley is a musical phenom. To others, she is a well established musical presence in the indie world. You’ll recognize her last name, as she is the daughter of Ernie Isley, of the Isley Brothers. Yet she has a unique and solid sound throughout her work, which she writes, produces, and performs. In her third release, L U X U R Y, we get a fine example of her musical prowess.
The album opens with a string quartet and sways beautifully into a bright hip-hop rhythm with a pushing snare that adds a measure of pep that is seldom found in contemporary soul and R&B tracks. Her production style is minimalistic and light, but intricate. Simple instrument sounds are moved and morphed to set clean backdrops that her vocals always sit comfortably in front of.
Isley’s voice is like a warm and airy woodwind. Her tone is even throughout her range and she manages to perform her voice colorfully in every song. Heavy jazz influence is uncovered in her lush, light harmonies. Her music sometimes tends to move like jazz standards, which proves to be a great advantage to her writing style. One of my favorite cuts on L U X U R Y, String Of Pearls, displays these qualities quite nicely:
This particular album brought out a lot of different emotions and feelings for me beside the sheer enjoyment of it. The most notable feeling I remember having while listening was that of being a child again. It’s a feeling that I hadn’t really delved into before, but I allowed myself to go there with this album. The sounds that she produces are a great expression of clarity, joy and freedom. In my experience, it has been nearly impossible to not be in a good mood when listening to her music. Isley’s sound truly carries a carefree spirit with it and (if you’re open to it) it will carry you right along with it.
The 10-track album moves along at a mostly moderate pace. I recommend listening while sitting at home relaxing, having tea, or any task that could use great background noise like studying, cleaning up, et cetera.
I’m looking forward to feeling a lot more from this album. It is currently in heavy rotation for me and I’m hoping you check it out too. If you do, stop back and tell me what you think of it! I’ll drop the purchase links below: