isomonstrosity, the project of producer Johan Lenox, composer Ellen Reid, and conductor Yuga Cohler, have returned with another single off their new self-titled debut album, which is out November 18 via Brassland. Back in September, they released “Careful What You Wish For” featuring Danny Brown and 645AR, and today they share “Take Me Back,” featuring Empress Of and Bryce Dessner.
“Take Me Back” thrives on the tension between Empress Of’s smooth vocals, Bryce Dessner’s patterned piano line, and isomonstrosity’s subtly atmospheric production. The tension between the three parts mounts, the vocal melts into electronic echoes, and what’s left is a somber solo piano. Ellen Reid comments on the process, “This track had a long journey. At first we had Empress Of’s vocal line over a pop track, but I felt like it needed something less conspicuous to evoke the mood we were going for. After a few conversations, we threw the vocal line over Bryce Dessner’s hypnotic piano line, and we were immediately excited about this direction.”
Empress Of adds, “We made the song through text and email, typical of 2020. I was starving to go out and be surrounded by people and I feel like you can hear that energy on this piece of music. It’s an unconventional song for an unconventional time in all our lives.”
Bryce Dessner concludes,
At the very start of the pandemic, I had my first sustained break in travel and touring in over 15 years. The request from my friends Johan and Ellen to write music, any music, which would be collaged into this larger isomonstrosity project gave me something to meditate on in that moment of quiet. I wrote several simple little pieces including this piano excerpt. Through processing they’ve transformed it into something surprising and beautiful to hear the amazing Empress Of on the track.
Listen to “Take Me Back” below.