"Young and Free" by Izzie DerryReview
If you've following the saga of successive singles in advance of her new album which Izzie Derry has been releasing, then presumably, like me, the ratcheting up of intensity has been affecting you. Where once one required a sassyometer to measure her songs, of late the equipment needed has been a feistyometer as she's taken aim at the patriarchy and specific members thereof who've done her wrong.
This trajectory though probably had to be curtailed at some point if not in order to keep the passions leashed within boundaries we can deal with, then because at some point Izzie would have dealt with all the issues involved & the stories all would have been told.
This is the point we have now reached & with an artistic pirouette rather than a u-turn, with today's release of "Young and Free", the question she poses for us is "do you ever feel like you're losing your childlike sense of wonder?" A far cry indeed from the knife wielding enquiries which have immediately preceded it.
The subject matter is "..her concerns of being overcome by the worries of adulthood and losing the joy and freedom of childhood" and to anchor her thoughts, the specificity within it is centred around her evolving relationship with her brother.
Much as I admire artists (Izzie included) who counterpoint & reinforce emotions by setting lyrics to music which plays against them (for example her last single "Thank You"), I can't see how that could work here, and so we get a gentle, ruminative, nostalgic feel to a song which cites various precise and detailed memories the two shared & then drifts into broader philosophical considerations of the nature of memory, of the passage of time & inevitably of a sense of loss of more innocent times, activities and views of the world.
I have no reason to think that Izzie has been reading Marcel Proust, but the author of "In Search of Lost Time" would I'm sure recognise kinship with the sentiments in this song, down to the use of discrete memories as triggers for wider reflection.
A change in tack "Young And Free" may be in relation to the other songs which we know will be on the album, but it is part of the overall story which is emerging. I have no idea what the sequencing of tracks will be, but were they to be chronological, then this one surely would appear earlier than the others: not that a linear progression is either necessary not desirable.
Musically, we are deep now into the territory of the piano-led songs, (with great string support in this instance: I imagine courtesy of Gabija Kasiliauskaite on violin & Alicja Bodnar on ‘cello), she is now creating & further from the acoustic guitar accompanied ones of yore. This is a watershed period for Izzie and once she is out & about with her new material & band, we'll need to adjust our expectations as to how Izzie Derry songs sound, what she's singing about & what an Izzie Derry concert will be like.
While this is a deeply personal song, based on equally personal experiences, this really speaks to each of us: it has a universal applicability. Who among us has not yearned for the simplicities of our childhood nor mourned their gradual loss? This plugging into an organic feature of the human existence elevates "Young And Free" to greatness just as her moral courage in its predecessors raised them.
She writes of wanting to return to days of "..beautiful clichés.." but I prefer to see them as eternal truths, expressed in a deeply affecting way.