The Brooklyn-based guitarist Izzy Oram Brown –– by way of Nashville and Western Massachusetts –– has spent plenty of time backing other musicians, studying guitar, deep-diving the musical histories of various places, and working within precise limitations and categories. But on Mess, her debut record, she refuses to be one thing or another.
Previously sharing the album title’s single, Brown has shared the second single off Mess, “Without You.”
Mess is Oram Brown’s maiden voyage as a songwriter, producer, and arranger, but the crystallinedetail and care with which it has all been assembled is befitting someone with years of experience in each of these realms. What is really striking is that each of these aspects is palpably crucial to the end product. The lyrics follow, emerging alongside and crisscrossing patient, snaking melodies. On process, Oram Brown credits Jeff Tweedy with inspiring her to mumble along to the tunes in their early forms, allowing the subconscious to drive phrases and themes to the surface. Fine tuning comes next.
Across the six tracks that comprise Mess, a delicate and complex narrative emerges to explore the messiness of relationships –– whether between two people, between one person and the rest of the world, or between one person and their own sense of self, their own memories. There are messes that are ours, messes that have been thrust upon us; messes we can wash off in the ocean, and those that remain.
Photo Courtesy: Kyle Knodell