Idalee – Starting Now (EP)
Originally from Leesburg, Virginia, Idalee, is an up-and-coming solo musician with a new EP titled Starting Now. Idalee’s album is about giving and receiving second chances in life. This is the message that rings throughout every track and an important part of his life. Once a promising musician with a bright future, Idalee battled with addiction problems and almost died as a result one day when he went flying through his car windshield after driving during a cocaine and alcohol overdose. This was a wake-up call for Idalee who then began his path to recovery. Starting Now is more than just another album made for the listener to enjoy. It also feels like an open insight into Idalee’s life and a way for him to share his past struggles and triumphs with his audience. This artist’s past clearly motivates his current artistic vision and has made him appreciative to start a new life of sorts.
Idalee describes his style as “melody driven alt-pop with a folk foundation and charged with purposeful synth.” As a listener, when I hear this album, it is easy to tell that it is a high-quality production worth a listen. Everything from the instrumentation to the vocals to the overall energy is full of heartfelt purpose. His sounds draw influence from many genres and every song tells a unique story with catchy lyrics. The style of singing and instrumentation is also unique because it sounds like a cross between modern country music (i.e. Florida-Georgia Line) and alternative rock, high-speed, storytelling which can be heard from a band like Twenty One Pilots.
Every song on this EP feels like an anthem, with epic choruses filled with electric guitars and booming drums. Bridges and breakdowns in these songs evoke sounds of nature and peace, reminiscent of small town Americana, using both beautiful ambient synths and sweet-sounding acoustic guitar riffs. Idalee’s voice is unique and hard to put into words because it is neither twangy like a country singer nor overly-powerful like a classic rock singer. Overall, I would describe Idalee’s voice as powerful yet also chill and pop-sounding, providing a nice contrast to the powerful instruments featured in his tracks.
What is also amazing about this album is Idalee’s diversity of song lyrics. “Tree Got Rain” is simple, rhyming and fun. This track definitely gives off vibes of summer. For me, it is somehow still important symbolically because it can be heard a representation of the simplicity of life and how we should be thankful for the basic things we usually take for granted every day. The lyrics of “Heal” are more serious. Idalee asks an important questions in the chorus, “When do we heal? When do we fight for people that fall?” If you enjoy songs that tell genuine, uplifting stories in a way that also make you want to get up and dance, you should definitely give this EP a listen.
9 out of 10
Review by Delton Rhodes