Gregory Alan Isakov
Listen to Big Black Car
“Gregory Alan Isakov’s This Empty Northern Hemisphere was one of the finest albums of the year. Its melancholy poetics and lush, languid melodies stir me. He churns up his own musical atmosphere, ruled by the moon and the sea, at least aesthetically if not always lyrically. That he can do the same thing alone onstage…is remarkable.”
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and now calling Colorado home, Gregory Alan Isakov has been traveling all his life. Songs that hone a masterful quality beyond his years, tell a story of miles and landscapes, and the search for a sense of place.
Music has been a stabilizing and constant force. “I’ve always had this sense about music and writing, that I sort of have to do it. Like I’ll implode without it. I probably wouldn’t do it if I felt any other way.”
His song-craft lends to the deepest lyrical masterpieces, with hints of his influences, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen. He has been described as “strong, subtle, a lyrical genius” but the source of his writing often remains a mystery to him. “My songs have nothing to do with me; they have a life of their own. A lot of times I won’t know what a song is about when I’m writing it. It just has a certain feeling about it.”
When he is not on the road or writing, he is in his garden. A degree in horticulture might seem contradictory to a life spent in motion, but Gregory finds balance in the quiet concentration of the work, creating roots that keep him connected to home.
“Gregory Alan Isakov makes quietly lush, deeply vibrant music more rooted in the starry night sky…than any terrestrial locale.” —Paste Magazine