High Twilight

High Twilight

This Montreal-born singer/songwriter brings a keen sense of mood and a pronounced literary bent to his music; traces of Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed can be heard in his teasing, indirect lyric style and coolly tormented vocal delivery. Isaiah is a storyteller, but his narratives are bent and refracted into impressionistic scenes that hover between dream and reality. Surreal character sketches like “Anita On the Banks” and shadowy urban vignettes like “Candlemaker Row” and “The Naked Night” display a sharp visual sense, honed by Isaiah’s experience as an award-winning filmmaker. A pair of French chansons — “J’habite un pays” and “Melissa” — add a sultry Quebecois flavor. Isaiah boosts the album’s impact by adopting an eclectic production approach — the brisk train beat of “Emma Grace” contrasts nicely with the old-time blues feel of “The Hours” and the stark, slinky guitar-rock of “Lady Moon So Far Away.” Matters ends on a rueful note with “No Mean Dream,” a dark look at a performer’s life.

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