There are artists and poets in our midst. And sometimes their collaboration can reinvigorate their best muses. Like painters experimenting with new color palettes, Steve Kilbey and Jeffrey Cain have created unique beauty. Two of alt-rock’s most influential unsung heroes, The Church’s Kilbey and Remy Zero’s Cain, have created a masterpiece on opposite sides of the world without stepping into a studio together. The result, Isidore in album title and band name, is a fascinating ten-song (eleven if you include the hidden track) excursion into the layered and textured minds of Kilbey and Cain.
Kilbey, best known for his work in the Australian rock band The Church, whose shimmering song “Under the Milky Way” was a radio staple in the late 80s, has produced a staggering, poetic body of work over a 25-year career. Known for his wordplay in creating songs with lush, melancholic landscapes, Kilbey’s solo work has always been even more experimental and textured than his Church work. And now he has found a kindred soul in Cain to help push the creative envelope even further. Cain’s band Remy Zero was oft branded as the American version of Radiohead and dared to be moody and poetic even when it was not in current radio playlist fashion.
In their own words, “Isidore is meant to be a musical correspondence, around the world, throughout the heart of matter; an interpersonal relationship with sound; a resounding triumph of beauty; ingenious energies transfixed in time. Music of and from the spheres.” This record is for the ambitious among us. While it soars sonically, it is not meant for mere passive listening. The poets expect you to let your imagination roam and participate in Isidore. Upfront and personal, yet gauzy and mysterious, Isidore is an enigma, one that Kilbey and Cain hope you can crack.
“Kilbey and Cain have produced a precious rarity. It’s an album that’s so intensely personal in its nature that it sounds like it was never intended to be heard by ears other than those of its creators indeed, at times the sensation one feels while listening is the same guilty, about-to-be-caught shade of emotion that might be experienced while reading others’ mail. But it’s an album that’s also immensely, compulsively listenable. A rainy-day soundtrack of breathless beauty, this is the sort of album you want to tell people about… but you’ll pause before you do, mentally debating whether you really want to share something so lovely with anyone else.”
“There’s something fresh, revitalized, and altogether different about Isidore…but seeing as it is music that cannot be pinpointed, be grateful it is music that can be listened to and adored.”
“I’ve been hearing the hype about this release for a couple of months now, and looked very forward to hearing it. Truth is, this may be the best record of the year, or at least the most underrated. Mysterious and beguiling, Isidore can and will exceed your expectations of its constituents and transport you to another place and time.”