London-based singer-songwriter Izzy S.O is set to release her debut EP Can You Hear Me on July 29, and it finds her working through alt-pop, pop-punk, and indie rock aesthetics as she navigates issues of mental health and personal growth. You can hear echoes of both Alanis Morissette and Mazzy Starr in the gauzy, raucous songs that she’s created, artistic markers that point you in the general direction of her influences.
There’s an angsty catharsis running through her music, riding a crest of self-awareness lensed through a poetic perspective on what it means to be young and uncertain of the future and of yourself. She found initial personal expression by writing poems, eventually using them as a way to hone her voice within a musical context.
To better help us understand the internal worlds she’s created, Izzy has shared “Can You Hear Me”, the EP’s title track and a churning slice of alternative pop that draws us back to the late 90’s and early 00’s when pop music could feel volatile and serrated without sacrificing its melodic advantages. The song is buzzing with sharp emotional warnings and possesses a desire to stand on its own, outside the shadows of its influences. And it’s a testament to her abilities that “Can You Hear Me” sounds timeless while still zeroing in on toxic aspects of relationships that feel especially relevant in 2022.
“The song started as the description of a feeling in a very specific moment — it’s about a relationship that I kept going back to even though I knew it wasn’t good for me,” Izzy explains. “I had just gone back to his house after not seeing him for months, and I remember on the way there it feeling like this addictive euphoric thing that I of course had to do. And then I remember clocking in an hour later and I was like fuck I’m back here in this negative cycle that I’d managed to break free from for a few months, and I just felt so stuck and confused. The opening of the song is about that moment. So ‘Can You Hear Me’ is partly to him, but it’s also to me as I don’t think I was really listening to myself at all in that time. I was on overdrive.”