Packing a lot of substance into an extended play is never easy, regardless of an artist’s genre or even how much money is being spent on their career, but this doesn’t prevent Izzy Outerspace from making it look far too easy in the new record Amazon. Sustained by its fragility but ultimately not a release that depends on us reading between the lines to really understand it, this debut EP runs longer than most at almost thirty minutes in total length, and comparative to some of the similarly-stylized content out right now, it’s absolutely on the more complete and mature side (despite the new status of its creator).
I love the clash between the spacey, almost atmospheric tones of the instrumentation in “Empty” and “Home” with the brooding lash of the lyrics in both of these songs. Izzy Outerspace delivers her words to us without any interest in trying to soften the blow of her linguistic punch, and although she didn’t need to be as forceful with her execution here, I personally admire the way she takes command of the lyrical narrative through her voice and not via some kind of additional synthetic component to the instrumentation.
While I’m not always a fan of the technique, the minimalistic production style actually yields some surprisingly warm performances in “Vietnam,” “Jump” and the title cut in Amazon, each of which embody physicality without ever sounding like they’re being unnaturally forced from the speakers. There’s an ease to the overall flow of this record that you just can’t fake or produce into existence, and it all starts with the confidence of Izzy Outerspace herself. Many wouldn’t have brought the kind of steady hand she does the studio for this virgin performance, and I don’t believe this will go unnoticed by other critics this January as well.
Without the vocal in “Wildfires,” “Stars,” “Spare Time” or “Jump,” I think this material would probably qualify as post-rock (or at least the folkier, stripped-down equivalent of the genre). There’s a heady experimental feel to so much of the content in this record that I want to hear more of in the future, but I don’t want Izzy Outerspace committing to an avant-garde path to stardom per-say. Her alternative edge is undoubtedly the secret ingredient in this piece, but I wouldn’t say that it’s something she needs to overdevelop in comparison to the poppier facets within her sound at all.
I only just found out about the music of Izzy Outerspace this past December, but I’ve got a good feeling about what she’s going to be doing professionally in 2021. Amazon is neither a true extended play nor the complete full-length studio album that fans deserve to hear from her, but if there’s one thing true about this release, it’s that once you’ve heard its tracklist for the first time putting it down is next to impossible. This is can’t-miss alternative thunder here, and I recommend it to fans of indie music both old and new the same.
by Bethany Page