Isola - EP1

  • Another star-making house music debut on Godmode.
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  • Isola is the latest artist to debut on Godmode, a label that has churned out a few dance music crossover stars in its time, Channel Tres and Yaeji among them. The Las Vegas artist's first record under this name shares a lot in common with those artists: deep house DNA with crisp, glossy production and an ear for tight vocal hooks. But where past Godmode releases riffed on hip-house, Ivana Carrescia (and co-producer Nick Sylvester) look to a different retro inspiration, like Hed Kandi compilations and stylish early '00s house. If you like Sasu Ripatti's work as Luomo, then this record is for you. EP1 isn't a copycat record, but any Vocalcity fan's ears will perk up at the galloping, garagey drums of "Said It Again" or the opener "Ischia," where short bursts of tuneful vocals flicker over slick drum patterns. The timbre of Carrescia's voice and the way it glides across the drums is a dead ringer for that era of cocktail lounge house, with a microhouse level of clicks and rustles. They're little ASMR triggers that make your hair stand on end. There are other spine-tingling aspects of Carrescia's music. "Any Day" could be a vocal house anthem if it didn't repeatedly pull back, pads and rippling synth arpeggios teasing a drop without ever letting the kick drum hit. The effect is as exhilarating as it is frustrating. And the closer "Ricorda (Tell Me)," a Rhythm & Sound-indebted track that mixes the stomp of dub with the stride of deep house, has plenty of slow, swirling vocals that are a delight to the ear. The production values on EP1, a Godmode signature, are just as dazzling as the songwriting. They shine on the record's abstract interludes, like the keyboard lullaby "Canis Major" or the prepared-piano style "Two Birds," brief tracks that signal a different interest than just house music. This also aligns Carrescia with artists like Ripatti, who made pitch-perfect house music while they dabbled in other, more experimental traditions. Carrescias is not strictly new—she's released music under other names in the past—but this debut EP, packed with an LP's worth of ideas, is a showcase for an exciting voice who could easily end up as big as her predecessors.
  • Tracklist
      01. Ischia 02. Any Day 03. Canis Major 04. Said It Again 05. Two Birds 06. La Notte 07. Ricorda - Tell Me