Award-winning artist/composer Richard Isen collaborates with his niece Sarah Isen on this massive family-made composition with their Janis Joplin-inspired tune “Into The Blue,” which was released on November 12. This tune is a musical masterpiece that holds listeners captivated from beginning to end, crafting a vibrant soundscape weaving through musical modes.
As a youth, Richard Isen studied jazz piano and credited Joni Mitchell, Bill Evans, Shirley Horn, Tom Waits, and Tori Amos as influences. He has produced various records, including “Let It Fall,” “9 Songs,” and several original cast recordings of his musical theater work. He has an MFA in Musical Theater from NYU, has been nominated for an Emmy Award, and has received other prizes and fellowships over the years.
Previously a jazz cocktail bar singer, television composer, musical theater experimenter, and software engineer & web pioneer, this singer-songwriter and his piano weave a dreamy, after-hours melancholy with an intelligent, empathetic, and often hilarious view on life and music.
SARAH ISEN is a recent UCLA graduate who attended Oakland Institution of The Arts, a charter school where she was accepted as a vocalist. She sang in several a Capella groups, including the award-winning Scatter Tones. She competed on American Idol in 2020 until Katy Perry eliminated her. In 2021, Fox’s ALTER EGO role as the avatar “St. Luna.” Sarah has a sizable Instagram following and has amassed over 500,000 Spotify track listens with just two singles.
Brilliant rhythms, a recognizable yet attractive theme that generates momentum for a story that organically appeals for its images, and Sarah Isen’s natural flow and sensitive tone round out the package.
Things take an unexpected turn with “Into The Blue,” and the storytelling fits wonderfully within this musical environment. The instrumentation is varied, dynamic, and bright, and the lyrics have you proudly clinging to every passing moment.
The music is distinctively Adult Alternative and warm, with a minor orchestral or Folk-Rock influence. With the melodic and lyric-free mid half, things even veer a little toward current aspects, creating an anthemic vibe and really making you appreciate how successful a live performance would be.
The Alternative/Folk-Rock spirit of “Into The Blue” is reminded of a radio classic. The song’s tenderness, on the whole, comes with a pleasant leap and brightness at this vital moment within the composition, thanks to the build-up to the hook.
“Into The Blue” is beautifully written and composed, with a familiar set-up and melody that is both comfortable and memorable. Richard Isen’s writing style and Sarah Isen’s voice tone are introduced with a sense of intellectual depth and aim. Music has a purpose and absolute value, just as all life has a meaning and total weight.