Come Into Gone (CIG) is the second album by Daniel Isaiah, Montreal born and raised and based. Though Isaiah has spent considerable time in Europe and the U.S., and is known in some circles as much for his award-winning short films (under the name Daniel Schachter), CIG is a distinctly local work. The new album was written in his cozy Mile End flat, in a 10-foot by 10-foot room with a perfect view of Mont-Royal, and a little piano in it hauled over from Halifax, on which many of the songs were composed. Isaiah had never taken this approach before, but through it he found chords that he wouldn’t have on his usual guitar. And though writing the songs took considerable time, not much rehearsing or preparation went into recording them. The looseness of the recordings works so well precisely because the songs are so well crafted.
CIG is more focused, sonically, than his debut record, the folk-influenced High Twilight. Where that one played like an assured collection of songs (and put him on festival stages the likes of SXSW, POP Montreal, and Osheaga), CIG is a successful attempt at creating what is decisively an album. Minus a few overdubs, it’s the same band playing on every song. From the Oh Mercy-era Dylan smoothness of opener “Heart Attack” to the Bowie-funk-inflected murder ballad “Heaven Is On Fire,” all the way through the playful swagger of the T. Rex-y “I’m So Glad,” Come Into Gone deftly pulls off the ultimate albumular challenge of providing variety as well as cohesiveness. The album is very much the work of five people playing together in a room.
Recording went down with Martin Horn in grimy Griffintown over two three-day sessions with a band including Chris Flower (one of Montreal’s best-kept secrets) on guitar, and Matthew Woodley (Plants and Animals) on drums, plus overdub contributions from Sea Oleena. CIG’s hallmarks are shimmery production, big, reverby drums, and guitars both percussive and slippery clean, as exhibited so sublimely on tracks such as the cinematic “Mirror Soul”—wherein the narrator takes the listener on a romantic driving tour of the American South, only to end up back on the freezing streets of Montreal recovering from a traumatic parting—and the soon-to-be-classic “Information Blues.”
Isaiah’s life is all over these songs, but he’s not one for navel-gazing autobiography. Rather, on CIG he looks at his life as an aesthetic object, and transforms it into universal art. Whether it’s the heart attacks that run in his family (“Heart Attack”), his Jewish education (“Tug of War”) or an American stepsister separated by geography (“Two Brothers”), these songs are full of people and places close to his life. But another undercurrent to the album is Isaiah’s film career and the world traveling that it has brought about. His 2013 short film Entre Chien et Loup, starring Monia Chokri, screened all over the planet and received an enthusiastic response from audiences at festivals in Palm Springs and Rhode Island, among others, and he has written three feature film scripts since High Twilight was released, most notably Passover, an ensemble drama that was inspired by his upbringing, and which is currently in pre-production with Peripheria Inc.
CIG works successfully as a thinking man’s “rock” record—it fits as snugly on Dad’s CD shelf next to Petty and Dire Straits as it does on your college-aged sister’s iPod between Cass McCombs and War on Drugs. Yet it can be heard as an introspective breakup record, as well. The closing song, the haunting “Loose Ends,” is, says Isaiah, about “the healing potential of sadness. Sadness can be purifying. It’s a lot better than anger or anxiety, which hardens you. Sadness softens.” Come Into Gone is the sound of young wisdom. The sense of knowing that much has been learned through navigating the familiar calamities, but also recognizing there’s many unknowable days ahead.
"A stunning debut" American Songwriter on High Twilight
"Isaiah's narratives are bent and refracted into impressionistic scenes that hover between dream and reality" iTunes review
"An exceptional album of literate, finely crafted pop" Direct Current
"With poignant lyrics and a deft handling of a century of popular music styles, High Twilight would be considered an ambitious record for an established artist; coming from a relative unknown, it verges on breathtaking. This is a record that literally demands repeat listening." My Old Kentucky Blog
Photo: Annik MH De Carufel Le Devoir
Watch Daniel Isaiah perform "Tug Of War" in the comfort of his home for The Montreal Gazette, full interview coming soon!
Daniel Isaiah is happy to share his new music video for the song Heaven Is On Fire – the first single from his introspective yet upbeat forthcoming sophomore release, Come Into Gone, out March 31 via Secret City Records.
Click here to preorder the album on iTunes
The video premiered today on VOIR in Quebec and EXCLAIM ! in Canada.
Daniel Isaiah is thrilled to announce the release of his sophomore record, the introspective yet upbeat, Come Into Gone, out March 31st on Secret City Records. Isaiah will mark the release with a show in Montreal on April 7th and then will perform at The Monarch in Toronto on April 24th.
You can listen to the first single, Heaven Is On Fire below:
COME INTO GONE TRACKLISTING
1. Heart Attack
3. I Had To Fight
4. Tug Of War
5. Information Blues
6. Heaven Is On Fire
7. Mirror Soul
8. Two Brothers
9. I’m So Glad
10. Loose Ends
Come Into Gone (CIG) is the second album by Daniel Isaiah, Montreal born and raised and based. Recording was done over two three-day sessions with a band including Chris Flower on guitar, Matthew Woodley (Plants and Animals) on drums, plus vocal contributions from Sea Oleena. Where High Twilight, called a "stunning debut" by American Songwriter and "breathtaking" by My Old Kentucky Blog, played like an assured collection of folk songs (and put him on festival stages the likes of SXSW, POP Montreal, and Osheaga), CIG is a successful attempt at creating what is decisively an album—one that is not only a thinking man’s “rock” record, but an introspective breakup one, as well.
I don’t know about you, but I will sure be on the lookout for that next solo record. Mr. Isaiah has left me no choice.
After a standout performance at this year’s edition of M for Montreal in November, Daniel Isaiah will be performing a proper homecoming show on January 25th at Casa del Popolo.
DANIEL ISAIAH HOMECOMING SHOW
OPENING ACT: GRAND CHEVY
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 25th
CASA DEL POPOLO || 4873 SAINT-LAURENT
8$ || DOORS 8PM
Buy your tickets here
RSVP on Facebook
A local troubadour, Daniel Isaiah and his band coaxed festival goers into an easy state of mind with his Mark Knopfler-style of soaring and soulful guitar riffs and his Chris Isaak-like voice (complete with pompadour). The female drummer for the band had an amazingly dedicated light touch that helped propel this live show above many of the other folk-oriented acts.
But within 30 seconds of his band coming onstage, I was transfixed. Three people with Daniel and his guitar partner providing a twin reverb-drenched twin hollowbody guitar twang attack. Think Dire Straits meets Chris Isaak with a slight David Lynch twist. Extremely evocative, atmospheric and even slightly ominous. The songs were great.
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