Izzie’s Caravan drop EP
Psychedelic-tinged melodies have been almost everywhere you look and listen in the last couple of years. From the countrified surrealism of acts like Timber to more understated examples in the works of players like rockers Chords of Eve, psychedelia has been impacting the indie underground like no other circuit on earth, and even in the latest release from blues band Izzie’s Caravan, its influence if felt significantly. Zephyrs, the second official EP from Izzie’s Caravan, replaces the sturdy blues grooves of its discography predecessor with lush indulgences in sonic experimentalism, but beneath its glowing cover, we find the same musicians who made a name for themselves with Leo’s Guitar less than a year ago.
As with their previous output, Izzie’s Caravan put a lot of stock into their string prowess in this disc. The title track and “South of Yesterday” would be nothing were they not outfitted with as chic a set of guitar-centric harmonies as they are in this record. Though they’re not as textured as parts of “Holy in Your Smile” are, the strings that circle the vocal in “Tracii’s Ballad” define the emotional narrative in the music better than words ever could. In a nutshell, this is full-bodied music that doesn’t need a label to be appealing to numerous audiences this spring.
This is one of the most fluidly structured EPs I’ve listened to in 2020 so far. The framework of the compositions allows for a level of transparency between artist and audience that has been difficult to come by in the mainstream lately (aside from The Weeknd’s AOTY-worthy After Hours, that is), and despite all of the intricacies in the music, nothing ever feels overbearing here. “Holy in Your Smile” flows into “South of Yesterday” without skipping a beat, and when consumed in its entirety without interruption, Zephyrs feels more like a medley than a basic sampler of songs.
“Tracii’s Ballad” didn’t need quite as much bass in its mix as it was ultimately produced with, but I can definitely understand what Izzie’s Caravan were trying to achieve in this track all the same. In creating a lot of seemingly unneeded rigidity between the excerpts of ambient melodies here, they were able to avoid the uneven sluggishness that often accompanies records as space-aged in tone as this one is. Zephyrs is a well-thought out extended play, but at this point, I probably shouldn’t expect anything less from this group.
Look high and low if you please, but I don’t believe you’re going to find another record quite like the one Izzie’s Caravan have just stuck their name on this season. A little longer than a traditional EP – 24 minutes total – Zephyrs is a mini-album that shoots off a lot of fireworks without ever missing a step between “Holy in Your Smile” and its title track. If we’re lucky, it will serve as a sneak preview of what this band has in the tank for their next release, and at the very least, it’s one of the very best indie records out this May.