The Globe’s Robert Everett-Green reviews – Elisapie Isaac’s ‘There Will Be Stars’

There Will Be Stars
Elisapie Isaac
Pheromone Recordings
****

A good pop song can be like a fine razor, that feels like it’s stroking your skin when it’s really slicing into you. There are a few of those on this outstanding solo debut by Elisapie Isaac, an Inuit musician and filmmaker who lives in Montreal. Why Would I Cry is a slow, gentle-sounding song about being pushed to the very end of your resources. Butterfly mimics its namesake by floating over a casual reggae beat, but its subject is limitation and sorrow. Other songs show off Isaac’s extraordinary gift for melody, and the poetic economy of her lyrics, as her cool yet immediate style of singing migrates through flinty pop to French cabaret to a spooky idiom full of reverberant guitars. The arrangements (mostly by producer √Čloi Painchaud) are both daring and subtle – check out the harmonic tension between the vocal melody and the bass in Turning My Back. A wonderful record.
Robert Everett-Green