Massachusetts-based singer/songwriter Izzy Heltai has announced his forthcoming debut full-length album Father, due out October 9th, with the release of single “The Stranger You’ve Become.”
LISTEN: “THE STRANGER YOU’VE BECOME”
“Through his debut album, Father, Izzy Heltai observes human relationships from dawn to dusk,” says For Folk’s Sake in their premiere. “There’s a special focus on what’s in-between the beginning and end, where the sinew of these complex bonds are woven. It’s a lot to take in for the 23-year-old artist, but his intimate interest in the topic at-hand makes for a precocious songwriter developing informed, heartfelt Americana…’The Stranger You’ve Become’ is a perfect encapsulation of the heartfelt essence that makes Heltai’s work so compelling.”
“An honest, kind, genuine person generally believes their interpretation of a world at face value,” Heltai explains. “The majority of us choose to engage in the realities of other people with the best of intentions, not wanting to deceive. We aren’t faced day to day with the reality of how malleable our words and truths can actually be.
Our realities are just collectively agreed-upon terms, rules, and conditions. The fact that I can look at a rubber duck, point to it, and claim that it is a rubber duck is only possible because we have all agreed that that is in fact what the physical object is. But what happens if someone comes along, points at that same object and tells you with absolute certainty that you’re wrong, and that object is indeed a hat? If no one else is there to tell you otherwise, who are you to believe that your interpretation of this object is based in more truth than theirs?” he continues. “When you’re intimately involved with someone, it is often difficult or nearly impossible to identify when this is happening.
When you finally get out, it can be earth-shattering. The idea that you’ve been with a stranger, that you’ve been tricked. It’s a type of trust that can be extremely difficult to recultivate.”
Throughout the record, Heltai braves the exploration of not only interpersonal and societal relationships but also his own relationship to himself, and reckons with the ways that periods of depression have caused him to abandon those he loves. “I think as I’ve grown up I’ve been able to realize that sometimes when your self worth is so low, you don’t think you can be worth anything to someone else, but that can actually cause you to hurt people that need you,” Heltai explains.
Father was recorded by Heltai’s longtime friend Andy Cass and produced by Sophie Buskin. The production is raw and full, with subtle harmonies and guitar lines weaving their way unexpectedly through the mix almost as if they were grown in the song. There is no sign of musical overthought, allowing Heltai’s emotional vocals to shine organically.