Izzie’s Caravan don’t hold back from laying down some of the most heavenly harmonies of their career in the new record Zephyrs, and you needn’t much more than a cursory listening session with the EP’s four unique songs to understand exactly what I’m talking about. In “Tracii’s Ballad,” the band steps away from the blues-rock raucousness of their first extended play, Leo’s Guitar, and towards psychedelic surrealism by way of blushing pop beats and elegant electric melodicism. The title cut in Zephyrs is a little statelier by design, but not at all bloated in its exhibition of evocative textures once relegated far from the blues-rock underground. We discover a rebellious southern sway familiar to those who know the band’s signature style in “South of Yesterday,” but it’s been thoroughly reimagined to support the spacy environment of this tracklist. Everything here starts with the eight minute opus “Holy in Your Smile,” and despite this track’s length, I think it could be one of the most emotional and easy-listening pieces of material this group has produced so far. There are a lot of ways to go about making a sophomore record, but in my opinion, Izzie’s Caravan raise the bar for themselves and the scene that spawned them in this EP.
“South of Yesterday” and “Tracii’s Ballad” have the most physicality of the four songs on this record, and I think they show us a different lens through which we can appreciate the band’s growth in the past year. “Holy in Your Smile” and the title track are far more delicate in their structure, but with regards to the latter, the heavy presence of the percussion prevents its melodies from sinking into total avant-gardism. By beefing up the drums amidst a completely minimalist backdrop in this instance, Izzie’s Caravan are able to elevate the harmonious components in the music to a level of ethereality that I did not expect to hear in this EP. I won’t be as quick to lump Zephyrs in with the postmodern pop trend as some of my critical contemporaries might be, but with that said, there’s very alternative aesthetic in play within this material that I’m dying to hear more of in the future.
In Zephyrs, Izzie’s Caravan submit yet another provocative treasure chest of tonality, and though it isn’t the blues-rocking roadhouse that Leo’s Guitar was, it could be an even more powerful listen at the end of the day. This record reintroduces its composers as a psychedelic blues act that can create just about anything if they set their minds to it, and while there are quite a few independent EPs out this spring that I would recommend alongside this one, Zephyrs is easily one of the most unforgettable releases I’ve heard in the month of April. Izzie’s Caravan are still revealing who they truly are to the world, but at the moment, I think the consensus on their direction is definitely universal. They’ve got the chops to do great things, and that’s more than evident in this amazing record.