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Isadora Eden talks new EP All Night, “Choke”: “There’s definitely an element of artistic license”

The record features four tracks of immense soul, emotionally piercing anecdotes.

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Named by 303 Magazine as among the “19 Denver Musicians to Watch in 2021“, Isadora Eden continues to live up to the promise that started some three years ago. The Massachusetts-raised singer-songwriter, who recently returned with “Ghosts” last month, today released her newest EP, All Night.

The record features four tracks of immense soul, emotionally piercing anecdotes that exposes the toxicity of a relationship falling apart—perhaps due to sustained misunderstandings, unresolved bitterness, or worse, yet unrealized pitfalls that are only bound to tear the actors down.

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With drumbeats resembling a heart pounding in woe, standout track “Choke” bravely opens with a prose that bites: “Did you see?/ I walked right out behind you when you left/ Did you notice me?” As an influx of ambient overtones rush to embrace Isadora Eden’s cold, melancholy crooning, a dark, sentimental spell surfaces to help ease her qualms.

“I never promised I would make you happy all the time,” Isadora Eden exhales, as though trying to pacify a tension that the persona she created has stirred. That message reverberates, and anchors the rest of the song to that wounding feeling of angst. Is she sorry? Why is she repeating herself? We can’t help but ask.

Overdriven guitars in tremolo join the lush, dreamy layers of absorbing sonic hues, matching the intensity of the stinging lyrical blows. “So I swallowed all my words/ Now everything’s back to normal,” she concedes apologetically, even absent any clear fault on her part.

In this exclusive interview with the artist herself, we delve into the theme on which “Choke” was written, her experience working with Sumner Erhard and Corey Coffman, how All Night EP came along, and more.

Congratulations on your latest release! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thanks! I’m originally from Massachusetts, but currently based in Denver. I’m super excited to have this new EP out and to have worked with Sumner (Erhard) and Corey (Coffman) on these songs.

Why the pause in all of 2019 when you were actually already making waves a year prior?

I was still playing live and writing lots in 2019, and working on this record. I recorded a different version of this EP with another producer and it just wasn’t the right fit, so I scrapped it. I had a sound in my head that I wanted, but couldn’t get there on my own. I started working with Sumner (co-wrote the music for the EP) and later Corey (produced, tracked, mixed, and mastered the EP), and it was just a really great fit. It felt like we all understood what we were trying to create.

I recorded a different version of this EP with another producer and it just wasn’t the right fit, so I scrapped it.

Isadora Eden

From your predominantly folksy approach on Quick to Burn it seems like you’ve drastically changed your style these days. Did you go through some sort of a cathartic experience that led you to reinvent your sound?

I think I kind of felt like I had to prove to myself that I could make good music solo before expanding to a more collaborative and full band sound. I’ve been wanting to get this indie rock-folk-dreamy hybrid sound for a while, but it just takes time to find people who you have musical chemistry with. I still feel like the songs have to be good solo to make something great full band.

Tell us what it’s like working with Corey and Sumner. Who else took part in this project?

Working with Corey was awesome! He’s super talented and also just a fun person to hang out with for 10-hour recording days. Sumner wrote the drum and bass parts, and co-wrote the lead lines with me; he also played all of those on the recordings. He is also super talented and fun!

I’ve been wanting to get this indie rock-folk-dreamy hybrid sound for a while, but it just takes time to find people who you have musical chemistry with.

Isadora Eden

Now let’s get a little deeper. What is “Choke” really about?

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I had been playing that guitar riff for a bit but hadn’t found the right melody or lyrics to go with it. The song’s about being really depressed and trying to be in a relationship at the same time—it’s kind of hard to give the other person what they need when you’re trying to crawl out of a really dark place yourself.

How do you come up with themes to write on? Are these based on personal experiences or are some just a product of your imagination?

It’s primarily personal. There’s definitely an element of artistic license, or songs that will be about a mix of different experiences or relationships rather than just one specific person or time. I write a lot of dumb stuff and some bit of cool stuff in my phone notes and in old notebooks I had half-filled in middle school that I have lying around my apartment, and the cool parts eventually turn into lyrics. Sometimes a song comes out all at once with lyrics and guitar parts all together but it’s more often that the lyrics or at least a lyrical idea is written first.

The song’s about being really depressed and trying to be in a relationship at the same time—it’s kind of hard to give the other person what they need when you’re trying to crawl out of a really dark place yourself.

Isadora Eden

How has the pandemic affected you as an indie artist? Are you doing livestreams to promote your latest work?

It’s been a little tough. This record was planned to be out last fall, but recording got pushed during the first lockdown. We were also just getting ready to start practicing as a band and booking full band shows when everything shut, so it’s definitely disappointing to not be able to play a release show right now. But, we’re planning a stripped back three-piece live set for KGNU in April, and have a live recording airing Sunday (February 7) on KCSU. There’s also an animated video for “Ghosts” coming out at the end of the month that we were able to do fully remote. And we’re really excited for the day that it’s safe to play live again!

I write a lot of dumb stuff and some bit of cool stuff in my phone notes and in old notebooks I had half-filled in middle school that I have lying around my apartment, and the cool parts eventually turn into lyrics.

Isadora Eden

What’s your message to the people who have waited this long to hear your brand new sound?

Thank you so much, and we can’t wait to see everyone when we’re able to safely play these songs live!

Stream All Night EP below.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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