Album Review: Isaac Lister – Chambers

Isaac Lister’s second album Chambers follows on and develops his blues based acoustic into a rockier sound from earlier release My Kind of Nightmare that received airplay on Jerico Keys’ “BBC Introducing York” last summer after its release.

As Isaac himself puts it “I think the key difference apart from the obvious fact that this is a blues rock album and the previous was an acoustic folk album, is that I needed to write songs with a lot more grit and edge in order to connect with them, because I couldn’t give enough of myself to the quiet folk song as I wasn’t that passionate about it”

Those who have seen Isaac play live know of the great energy that he puts into live performances and his open mic night down at the Rose and Crown on Lawrence Street, York every Monday Night. Chambers captures Isaac’s powerful live sound but in a studio environment giving it a raw power not found on many studio albums. Alongside this, the sheer quality of the production is top notch for an album that was recorded and released in what is almost certainly not a top end studio.

As far as track listings go, there is a nice mix of memorable rock based grooves like opening tracks ‘Drop the Ball’ and ‘Expendable Love’. Blended in between the ‘big noise’ that Isaac seeks, there are more intimate songs such as the upbeat acoustic number ‘People Like You’, ‘Tuesday Blues’ (a slower purely acoustic track) or closing track ‘Whispering Time’ which demonstrates his soulful and raw vocal range to great effect without as much additional instrumentation to distract from the main event of the show.