Cloudy with a chance of Isakov
Gregory Alan Isakov hits the stage at Mojo’s with a new album in tow.
Avid postcard collector and lover of plants, Gregory Alan Isakov’s love for music is in full bloom with the upcoming release of his third album.
“I always played music,” Isakov says. “It was just kind of part of the day. I worked on a farm for about seven years. The past couple of years I’ve just been playing most of the time. It’s kind of like both things that I love, and I try to balance out both of them.”
In the past year, Isakov has performed alongside groups such as The Lumineers and The Head & The Heart. His current tour supports the release of his new album, The Weatherman, and included a stop at Mojo’s on July 8, where The Seven Hats opened.
“I love playing shows, and it’s difficult for me because I’m kind of a hermit,” Isakov says. “It’s a lot of social time everyday. I meet a lot of people on the tour. I’m always blown away that people take time out of their lives and come see us play. It’s really mindblowing.”
Traveling has always been a part of Isakov’s life, beginning with his move from South Africa to Colorado in pursuit of a horticulture degree. His love for gardening doesn’t get to come on the road with him (aka no cacti in the tour bus windows), however.
When he’s out on the road, Isakov writes postcards to his long list of pen pals. He says he may just have postcards from almost everywhere in America. You could even say Isakov has a green thumb for writing.
“Traveling a lot and spending a lot of time by myself, I write a lot of short stories and poems,” says Isakov. “A lot of it makes its way into the song all at once. It starts with just little tiny things that I notice, and I follow it down the road.”
The idea behind The Weatherman started with a short story about a woman who lived in a country trailer home. Isakov says the weatherman became a character in the story, an ever-present figure in the background. From that, the idea of weather in everyday life grew.
“I was traveling a lot when I was writing the record, and I noticed that people really connect with the weather,” Isakov says. “It’s kind of like this basic way to connect with total strangers. Everyone is just talking about the weather all the time. You can be sitting next to somebody on a train, and the first thing that might come up would be weather. It’s this thing we all connect on."
Isakov says he also came across the idea that there’s a guy on TV reporting the weather, and he’s telling the future.
“It’s this crazy amazing thing, and no one cares,” says Isakov.
The Weatherman delivers soulfully introspective tunes with an unpolished finish, or what "feels more real," according to Isakov. Recorded in a small studio called the Mountain House, The Weatherman gets back to Isakov’s horticultural roots by incorporating a natural sound native to the environment it was grown in.
“A lot of the songs that I wrote for this record were about nature and space and really expansive ideas,” Isakov says.
He adds that he strives to try out new things and ways of doing them, even if he doesn’t know if they’re good at the time.
“I think that’s why I love (songwriting) so much,” says Isakov. “There’s a lot in there to explore.”
The Weatherman dropped July 9, and its homegrown tunes are guaranteed to, well, grow on you.