Gregory Alan Isakov is returning this fall with his first studio album in five years. Evening Machines, due out Oct. 5, follows 2016’s Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony, which featured reimaginings of songs from Isakov’s discography with the addition of the Colorado Symphony. Out today, Aug. 15, is “Caves,” joining “Chemicals” as the second single off Evening Machines.
Immediately noticeable on the track are the shaking bells, which sound wonderfully in-place, emphasizing the strong beat while being unexpected. Isakov enters with a slight rasp and brings forth images of nature and relationships: “I used to love caves, stumble out into that pink sky. Remember that bright hollow moon. It showed our insides on our outsides.” Essential to the song’s boundary-less feeling is the enchanting vocal layering—the layers reach out in every direction to create the sense that they extend forever, but you are still somehow at the center of it all. Isakov beckons you to listen, closely asking, “Did I hear something break?”
Isakov wrote “Caves” with his friend Ron Scott, who went on meandering walks through the hills of Colorado with Isakov when he visited from Austin—his name is also included with the lyrics of the only new song on Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony, “Liars”.
[Scott] and I spend a lot of time being quiet. He’s one of those friends that reveres silence as much as I do. It isn’t strange to not say anything while we are hanging out. We share a similar world where we write from. Some songs are about a story, a conversation. This one is more about the places that a song can bring you. And that love for silence.
The recurring lyric in “Caves,” “Let’s put all these words away,” embraces this sentiment—not just accepting silence, but sinking into it. You can “hear the stars do their talking” and hearts break in silence.
Evening Machines was recorded at Isakov’s converted barn studio on his farm outside of Boulder, Colo., and, get this: He does farm. The record was recorded mostly at night so as to avoid conflicting with his work in his gardens. As the album title suggests, the record holds within itself the feeling of dusk settling.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, morning or afternoon, this music always feels like evening to me,” Isakov said.
You can preorder Evening Machines here. Listen to “Caves” below and check out a performance by Isakov from the Daytrotter Studio in 2013 beneath that. Find Evening Machines’s tracklist further down.
Evening Machines Track List
02. San Luis
03. Southern Star
05. Bullet Holes
06. Was I Just Another One
09. Dark, Dark, Dark
10. Too Far Away
11. Where You Gonna Go
12. Wings in All Black