Isaac Delusion Rust and Gold is the perfect album for anyone that likes a wide range of genres. Categorization of their music is impossible because each song masterfully uses different musical styles and techniques from throughout the music world. Despite this intense eclecticism, the album is extremely well done and flows easily. Each song was given the most minute attention to detail and deep care which you can hear clearly as the listener. Melodic sounds transport you into their world as each song tells another unique story completely different from the rest. Rarely is an album so visually stunning, showing us clear characters, locations, and interactions that differ dramatically and show an intense individual artistry as the beauty of the music shines, taking the listener for one unexpected ride after another. Isaac Delusion is from France but primarily sing in English. Rust and Gold (2017) is the first thing I found from them in the US, but they did release a self titled debut album in 2014 on a different label.
Track By Track Impressions:
“Isabella” is a girl trying to be herself out in the world, protecting her heart from the pain she’s felt before, unawares of this man who is desperately yearning to be a part of her life. He shows his respect, admiration, and worry for her. His longing for her is almost overpowering. The lighthearted electronica background with the and unique voice of the lead Loïc, leads you to feel hopeful at the end.
“Black Widow” Beating drums, keyboard, and badass bass lines, blast through the song with brass horns to help create a rich feel. This is about a woman who can get what she wants from any man, no matter what. You can see the desire as it drips from his voice even as a warning flows out because all men fall before her, never to escape.
“The Sinner” Slowing down into a funky, moody jam with hints of gospel mixed in and explosive vocal power leaving you covered in goosebumps. Exploring the dark side of ourselves, hidden in the night; shining light on the duality between these parts of ourselves, putting a spotlight on that darkness in the most beautiful way. Lamenting and savoring the darkness, yet welcoming to return to the light in the morning as the battle between sinner and savior rages in ourselves with each passing day.
“Voyager” Starting out with pan flutes as the base for a reggae beat, it’s all about a trippy space adventure. Separating from reality exploring the unknown. You get an alien sensation as you get the feeling of being transported far above atmosphere. Your body starts to feel light as he says “gravity is gone” and the flutes lift you up higher. You can really escape to this groovy beat.
“Cajun” Guitar riffs hit you first thing. Then higher pitched singing in French comes through with undeniable feeling and intense effect, even being ignorant of the meaning of the words themselves. Great variation in fast and slow, intense and quiet, French vocalizing as a constant push and pull of delicate and hard.
“Luck & Mercy” Blues guitar, bass, and vocals transport you to a dark speakeasy where your destiny is determined by a roll of the dice. Electronic melodic sounds make your hair raise on end as the “dice of life” rolls to determine your fate. The intensity portrayed makes every hair stand on end with electricity, waiting to discover what your fate will be.
“Distance” Starts with strong house beats, easy on the ears, as Loïc’s voice carries you far away. Lightness drifts throughout leaving the listener feeling as if they’re being enveloped by tendrils of sound pulling you like a leaf in the breeze. This track revolves around the story of an adventurer searching for the unknown, introspection and determination to move forward.
“Bittersweet Fruit” Harps start as vaporous vocals blend together with the sound to transport you to the scene of a man smitten with a woman. She gives him a chance. He takes it. The endless summer starts, pristine and glowing, until what is perfect starts to to degrade; the golden glow starts to fade as it all tapers towards the end, almost as if it were a dream all along.
“How Much (You Want Her)” Headed toward the pure funk of disco you can’t help but start to move your body. His words are hard to make out as you feel like the alcohol went to your head as you overwhelmed with the sensation of desire on the dance floor. Unable to discern if “this is love or hell”, your faded mind tries to make sense of its feelings. Your body moves the whole time despite yourself until the last notes drift off.
“Take the Crown” Keys echo with the words “pain or pleasure” as funky bass comes in with the vocals and enough blues to match perfectly. A long instrumental in the middle breaks up the groove in a pleasant way before throwing you back into the funk.
“At Few Steps” A dreamscape shows a precipice of pleasure after a long journey. Almost sci-fi in feel with electronica sounds throughout. Rushing to what he believes is paradise, he is constantly chasing this thought of almost being there, wherever that is. Sensations of chasing a mirage in order to keep moving forward.
“Mother Shelter” crickets, frogs, keys, and a drastic slow down bring this album to a close. Having nearly a lullaby feel, they sing about sleeping safely. Finally coming home after a long journey and having a night of pure peace before the next adventure takes you over the horizon the next day. A relaxing and refreshing way to end the incredible journey of the album itself.
If you want a unique experience that’s totally worthwhile, give yourself some alone time and take the ride. The variety in sound creates a lot of replayability. I find myself hearing new aspects to the songs and meaning with each listen. Bands such as Isaac Delusion who have a broad sound have a difficult time finding labels to release their music, despite the level of talent. This independence should be celebrated and I feel albums like this one are gifts. They take you away from the daily monotony and give you a taste of real artistry and storytelling. I am grateful to have been introduced to Rust and Gold. One of my favorite albums of all time and it’s going to stay there.