Battered but still unadorned with plasticity, the guitar strings dance with a reckless abandon in “Vietnam.” They quake and rustle against the rhythm of a pained melody in “Empty” and struggle to define the tone of the music in “Wildfires.” There is no overstating their importance to the record Amazon in general, but they’re hardly the only feature I would recommend taking a closer look at.
To properly understand this work, we’ve got to look and listen even deeper which, as you’re likely aware, isn’t the most common of requests (but still something that will set the experience apart from others). Izzy Outerspace is not interested in creating the straightforward singer/songwriter story so many of her forerunners have been supported by; in her debut EP, she paints a picture very different from the one so many of her peers would be cresting if given the same set of opportunities this season. This isn’t your mom and dad’s indie record, and that’s clear even in the most casual of listening sessions spent with its tracklist.
“Jump” isn’t nearly as aggressive as its name would imply it is, but while both this song and the title track lack some of the bitter sharpness that their lyrics might suggest Izzy Outerspace capable of producing on her own, this isn’t to say the current tone isn’t quite satisfying. There’s something really captivating about the way she’s able to control the mood of the music just by leaning into a melody like she does in “Jump” or the record-starting “Spare Time,” and she isn’t even having to over-exaggerate her spot in the mix. Through the charisma of her own vocal, she’s filling the role of four or five instruments in getting us pushed to the edge of our seats, which is definitely reason enough to give the rest of Amazon a close listen as soon as possible. Although it’s a vocal=driven set of songs, this could be one of the more engrossing debuts I’ve come across from any artist in the industry this year, no matter the genre or scene of origin.
Whether it be the gentle harmony of “Stars,” the lustiness of the distant vocal melody in “Home” or the inspiring implementation of percussive prowess into “Vietnam,” Izzy Outerspace proves herself to be quite the unpredictable rookie player in Amazon, which I hope will only be the blueprint for her sound as she comes out of the darkness of the underground and secures a place in the hierarchy of evolving alternative artists. 2020 was not the best year for independent music by any means, but instead of losing everything to the dream of playing the circuit — now impossible due to the ongoing restrictions being imposed because of COVID — Izzy Outerspace turned to the studio, and the refinements she has acquired are not lost in translation here. Amazon is a homerun of a record, and if you haven’t already given it a listen, I think it’s going to have quite the influence on you this January.