Album of the Week: Alex Izenberg’s Harlequin


If you were asked to name a Los Angeles solo musician who published his notable, kaleidoscopic debut album—made of orchestral arrangements, train noises, great melodies, and experimental cut-ups—in his mid twenties, after years and years of writing, chances are high you’d properly answer “Van Dyke Parks.” But now, there’s another artist who fit this description: Alex Izenberg.

Introduced as reminiscent of “Scott Walker’s obtuse, off-kilter worlds of sound, Simon and Garfunkel’s psychedelic yet practical string arrangements, the vaudevillian pomp and preening of Wild Beast’s early material and Grizzly Bear’s pastoral early steps,” yet immediately recognizable as following Parks’s footsteps, Alex Izenberg’s debut album Harlequin, just out from Domino imprint Weird World, contains the prismatic collection of sounds its title evokes. Piano melodies enriched by strings arrangements, weird noises, and sudden changes of style create unique art-pop songwriting, with a hint of a vintage mood ready to make it an instant classic.

Watch the official video for “To Move On” and listen to the album via Soundcloud after the break.

Guia Cortassa was born, lives, and works in Milan, Italy. After working as a Contemporary Art curator, she went back to writing. She is a contributing editor for Ondarock and her writing has appeared on Rivista Studio, Flair and the Quietus. She compulsively tweets @gcmorvern. More from this author →