I have this small, black, fits-in-your-pocket, piece of technology that I currently refer to as my Gregory Alan Isakov Player. You probably have one to—you call it an iPod—that is only because you have yet to upload Gregory into your iTunes libaray.
Every summer deserves a soundtrack and This Empty Northern Hemisphere is likely my choice for this summer. Hemisphere has a sound that demands a warm evening, a laid back gathering of friends and a few good drinks.
Ryan Adams meets Ray Lamontagne maybe the best way to describe the quality of sound, lyric and vibe on Hemisphere. Isankov lets each part of the song have its place. The voice, the strings, the guitar, the piano…nothing trumps the other. It might even be fair to say that the mix of this disc is partly the source of its wonder.
Isakov can speak of the northern hemisphere not as a native, but as an immigrant. Born in South Africa, Isakov is now a Coloradoan by way of Pittsburgh. He has played South By Southwest and now regularly shares his music around the Denver area.
Hemisphere is the sounds of a lucid dream that will draw you into the wonder of living life. Songs like “Idaho” make you want to hop in your car and drive across the country through the warm summer night. Lyrics like “Words mean more at night / light means more” from the song “Words” (I will leave you to assign or deny the profundity of that lyric) give the album both depth of meaning via lyric as well as sound.