Ishana’s new single, from the second installment of her trilogy of albums, Old Skin, is curiously titled, “Steady Eyes.” It’s one of those titles that can allude to multiple connotations, but that you form a communion with, almost immediately. A looped vocal line,l essentially kicks off the track, and it’s Ishana’s voice and stylings that carry the song. There is a jazz style guitar, and a piano that supports the melody, fluidly. The instrumentation and vocal arrangements weave so elegantly that it’s goosebump inducing. 

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One might be tempted to place Ishana’s style as something resembling World Music. She is a Canadian native, currently based in Montreal, born in Mississauga, Ishana shows true hit potential with “Steady Eyes.” Whether it’s the innocence she exudes, or the puritanical overtones, Ishana still manages to be enigmatic, in an understated way. You may draw comparisons to artists, such as Alanis Morissette, or Sarah Mclachlan, but Ishana has a subtlety and quietude that sets her apart. 

I’m eager to explore more of Ishana’s work, but I have yet to tire of “Steady Eyes” at all. It seems like I’m always finding something new in the song, as it’s meticulously layered. You get the impression that Ishana, a self taught producer/mixer, has a very hands on approach, ensuring that the final product is in line with her vision. This tactic is always conducive to ensuring quality, and staying true to the artist’s original intentions.  

“Steady Eyes” has an innately comforting aura. From the moment it begins, it has the ability to to compromise, or even quell any lingering anxieties. That’s not to suggest that it isn’t accommodating for a variety of occasions. There is simply a healing effect to “Steady Eyes” that in listening to it, during moments of introspection or spiritual fatigue, is tempting. I might even go so far as to call the song, addictive. 

You get the impression that so much of who Ishana is, and her relationship with the world, and with herself, is what animates her work. Her music is personable and inviting, yet private all at once. “Steady Eyes” could be considered literary or even cinematic in scope, as Ishana assumes the role of heroine, with an almost childlike curiosity. Her presumptive journey of self discovery, is one that you can draw your own parallels to. 

If “Steady Eyes” is any indication of what to expect from Old Skin 2, or for that matter, part 3, then there is much to anticipate. With a song like “Steady Eyes” it gives the impression that Ishana has barely scratched the surface of what she’s capable of. It’s intriguing to imagine her becoming more emboldened and experimental. Ishana is the kind of mystifying artist that just sort of appears, one day, with no prior indication to the void that existed for her to fill. Here’s to hoping that it’s a steady course for her, going forward, and that she can keep her eyes firmly focused on the lights.  


Nicole Killian

About The Author

Nicole Killian

Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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