Isolde is a singer-songwriter based in Bristol. She is involved in a range of projects, from teaching at the Bristol Folk House; running a choir at the Bristol Drugs Project and performing as part of The Eko Collective. Her debut EP ‘Seed Bud Bloom’ was released in 2015.
(Photo Credit: Facebook/Isolde)
Isolde was raised in a family of cartoonists, potters and painters, which allows her work to have a very visual, tactile element. Consequently, she has embraced somewhat unconventional techniques in order to find her musical voice. She explains, “I didn’t have much music growing up so I’m not a real musician in lots of ways as I didn’t have a very musical home. I feel like I’m coming to it as a visual arts person, as if when I write I am painting and sculpting.”
Isolde adopts very synthetic techniques, finding inspiration from outside music in a style similar to Imogen Heap or Bjork. Isolde stresses that it is “more channelling than creating. Listening to what is there.” The singer-songwriter believes that we need to learn to “accept all sounds around us as being musical and appreciate the accidental sounds of the everyday.” Isolde believes that there is a “limitless” quality to be found in listening to “the unconscious subconscious” and everyday sound rather than just allowing yourself to be confined to musical instruments and a theoretical approach.
One of the main projects Isolde is involved with is The Eko Collective, alongside singer-songwriters Julia Turner and Lauren Bradford. As well as being a collective they run a gig night entitled ‘Femme De Musique’ which allows for a celebration of female musical artistry. Their individual sounds range from jazz and soul, to folk and electronica, allowing them to create a truly unique sound. Isolde explains how “it is really nice to feel you have this support from other artists who do the same thing as you. I realised I could create the kind of space that I wanted to perform in . There is a need for a feeling of collaboration between women in music. A platform to explore that diversity and explore female led projects, so having this kind of peer support is truly great.”
Involvement in this project allowed Isolde to become involved with The World is Listening, an inspiring Bristol-based community that celebrates and recognises women in music. Isolde explains how The Eko trio went to the launch of TWIL and found it “completely fitted in with what we wanted to do. We have kind of hooked up with them and taken their tone of promoting and supporting them at our gigs. It is about having the conversation about women’s position in the music industry.
Isolde is currently working on her next EP ‘Holy Cow’, which features samples she took on a trip to India. Her first single is out in the summer. “It includes all sorts of sounds from a trek in Nepal. Donkey men and bells and chickens; falling rocks and me wailing on top of the mountain.”