Izzy rung in the New Year the same way she has the past four — alone. The folk artist sat on top of her car in a field north of Fort Worth, eschewing crowds for solitude, live bands for a Joni Mitchell album blaring through the speakers of her car, and a dropping ball for a sky full of stars.
The 18-year-old Euless native has high hopes for 2019. She wants to move forward from an adolescence marked by grief. Her father, an airline pilot and her biggest supporter, who inspired her love of music and travel, died five years ago.
This loss, romantic heartache, and tales of her restless travels will fuel her first full-length, which she plans to record this summer.
Izzy recently dropped her first recording, the four-song demo Izzy-Live at Blackshield Studio, produced and recorded by studio owner Alex Whitcomb (A Cursive Lie). Aaron Payton of Papertone Studios mastered the tracks, and a friend, Matthew West, has mentored her throughout the process.
The rough-around-the-edges tracks capture the intensity of a somber young woman too familiar with loss and a restless teen eager to flee her hometown –– if only to come back.
She sings with a voice hewn by heartache, accompanying herself on guitar and with her own feet stomping a kick drum along to the rhythm.
In “Lonely Virginia,” a pensive, plaintive ballad, she weaves fragments of memory, evocations of pine trees and starry skies, and a broken heart into an aching tapestry of love lost.
“Everything I am / And who you loved / Is laid back against the motorhome towards the stars / You said that I don’t even know / If I’m lonely here then I’ll be wherever I go.”
And Izzy goes quite a few places. She travels in the same manner in which she plays music — compulsively, constantly, and, more often than not, alone.
Her wanderlust permeates the jaunty “Shoreline,” in which she sings of forests and mountains and the joy of moving alone through the world.
“I feel free, though I’m broke,” she sings, her rich and throaty voice arcing over a hip-shaking rhythm. “I find comfort in leaving, ’cause home is wherever I roam / Like red wine, dust in your eyes / We’ll smoke cedar and wood pine the grace of the river bend lies.”
This spring, she will record a single with John Pedigo of Audio Dallas Recording Studio. After that, more likely than not, Izzy said she will record her album in her cabin, a shed in the backyard of her childhood home that she has crafted into a Blue Ridge Mountain-esque retreat.
Producing the album independently, with help from friends, will allow her to save money for her fall tour, she said.
Izzy plans to head east to the mountainous parts of Tennessee and Virginia that have always held a fascination for her — the places that birthed the music she so admires.
She said she wants to see backwoods and dive bars on her tour.
“I want a tough crowd,” she said. “I want a crowd that doesn’t have much hospitality, just to burn myself a little.”