Love In Conversation is the enthusiastically anticipated first EP from Nottingham, UK-based artist, lyricist, and guitarist Isaac Anderson.
With the onset of the pandemic causing a sudden end to Isaac’s days as a visiting performer – most notably as guitarist for One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson – he had the option to understand a deep rooted objective of composing music for himself. Love in Conversation is the realisation of that vision, an EP that marks Isaac’s first foray into a solo career.
Following a year that was filled with writing and composing music, as well as growing a sizable online following, the album was released in mid May.
Love In Conversation is a novel blend of acoustic pop, folk, soul and alternative. It matches some of Isaac’s contemporaries like Hozier and James Bay while more old school Dylan influences can be noticed in the background. Isaac’s emotional voice takes centre stage in the project, with an ensemble of guitars and harmonies accompanying him.
The singer songwriter’s debut project is populated by four catchy as hell pop rock tracks. The titular track stands out in composition. Starting subtly, Anderson slowly builds the progression up through the under three minute runtime until it crescendos in a cathartic final chorus. “Have a little heart/have a little soul/take them with you everywhere you go” sings a defiantly optimistic Anderson in his introduction to the world of singer-songwriter pop. Love in Conversation is short, sweet, and engaging.
On “Yesterday’s Clothes”, the piano takes a more commanding role with Isaac being more reserved and pained in his singing. The final song, “Goodnight Darling” is perhaps the most memorable of the lot. Far from the other more typically well produced singer-songwriter bops, it sees Isaac intonate his voice continually while the piano performs an excellent backing. The electric solo towards the track’s closure is just the cherry on top of an already magnificent piece.
We had a chance to ask Isaac a few questions on his process, the album, his influences, and his past experiences.
1) What made you first pick up the guitar and sing?
My dad is a songwriter and producer and my mum’s also a huge music fan, so I grew up around music – there was always something playing in the house, and instruments everywhere. Apparently my first encounter with a guitar was when I was about one (although I don’t remember much of it; I’m told it involved a fair bit of physical abuse of the instrument and not a lot of playing!) – but I first fell in love with guitar when I was about eight, when my dad started teaching me properly. I’d loved to sing and tell little stories ever since I could talk, and learning the guitar felt like the final piece of the puzzle – it was a tool that helped me really dive into doing those things headfirst.
2) What was it like touring with Louis Tomlinson?
It’s been a dream come true. Life surprises you sometimes – my passion has always been writing, but playing as a session guitarist for Louis has been an incredibly exciting thing to do in conjunction with that. I’ve had the opportunity to visit places and play the sorts of shows that, beforehand, only ever really existed in my mind’s eye. I’ve learned so much, and the whole team is awesome – there’s a real ‘family’ dynamic. I feel so grateful to be involved, and really excited to get back on the road in 2022.
3) What are your favourite genres of music to listen to?
I love any style of music, as long as it’s been written and performed with passion! If I had to pinpoint a preference, though, as a guitarist I’m always drawn to guitar-led stuff – and big, powerful vocals are always a winner for me too. I very much grew up on 00s emo and pop-punk – Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Mayday Parade, etc were all a huge part of my formative years as a writer, and I think there are still shades of that kind of music in the songs I write now – even if my taste has broadened a bit since.
4) Who has been the biggest influence on your sound on this project?
There’s quite a big singer/songwriter influence – James Bay, Nick Drake, Hozier, Adele – but also elements of folk and soul as well. There are shades of rock too – the closing track, Goodnight Darling, was written to pay a bit of homage to Queen. There are quite a few different influences, and I like that the record ended up sounding quite varied.
5) Could you describe your writing process for this EP?
I worked on all the songs at home, mostly through the various Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020. The record’s a bit of a discussion of love, through several different lenses – the good parts, the difficult parts, the parts that hurt – and the need to sometimes take a step back to really evaluate how you fit in, and what you can do to help make the world a bit of a better place. I think the events of the past eighteen months have thrown humanity into stark relief! There’s been a real microscope placed on how we treat each other and it revealed so much that we’re getting wrong. It was so interesting (and scary) watching that unfold, and trying to find my own place within it – so I suppose this EP is just me trying to make sense of where we’re headed next.
6) Who do you want this EP to be for?
First and foremost it’s a really a ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s stuck with me for the past year as I figured myself out as a writer and an artist – everyone who was there through all the rough demos, the covers, and the livestreams, while I was finding my feet. I wanted my debut release to be more than just a single, so people had a body of work to get to know me properly – and in the crowded world of music that’s 2021, I wanted to give people some assurance I was worth their emotional investment. I see this as the start of what will hopefully be quite an exciting journey for me and my music, and I hope that this EP helps to invite people on board.