While traditional roots music may evoke images of the Midwest for many, Ismay draws inspiration from the seaside hills of her home in Northern California. Leaving college in light of following her soul, the artist became a rambler. Traveling from California to New Mexico, she found herself among the banks of the Klamath River. It was there where she originally recorded the songs on a cassette machine before finishing them up in a studio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This is how her debut EP, aptly titled Songs From a River, came to be.
Prior to Songs From a River’s release slated for 9 February, Ismay is sharing another of its five tracks with PopMatters. The song in question is “Oh Precious Light”. It frames the ethereal songwriting that Ismay is becoming known for into just under three minutes of blissful indie folk. Her vocals dance in relaxed fashion across the track, captivating from the moment it begins with its offbeat melody and instrumentation.
There’s an innocence and mysticism to the tune as well as how the artist delivers it. In her music, Ismay is intent on emanating the tale of her coming into her own as a singer-songwriter through her revitalized passion for the natural world. She does so with an accomplished poise and grace without losing a strand of sincerity.