Isaac Delusion

Isaac Delusion's fourth album comes at the end of a three-year hiatus during which its singer and leader, Loïc Fleury, saw his life change in every way – almost.
As soon as it began, the group’s last European tour, to promote their 2019 album uplifters, was brutally interrupted by the COVID crisis. Loic eventually fled the suffocation of urban lockdown for the Breton countryside, where he began to dream of what might follow it.
By taking sole control of a new production process, he opened a new chapter in the group’s story, which in the meantime had reached – untrumpeted – their ten year anniversary.
In that time, with their three albums – Isaac Delusion (2014), Rust & Gold (2017) and uplifters (2019) – and their relentless sonic experimentation, the anglophone French band had firmly established themselves in the contemporary pop landscape.
Now comes Lost and Found: a new collection of ten songs which forge tenderness and comfort from extreme self-interrogation, from the fruitful frustration that led to its creation, and from the mystical conditions in which it was actually recorded.

At the start of 2020, with his wife and child, Loïc Fleury moved to Erdeven in northwest France, into a typical Breton house dating from the eighteenth century. He converted one of its outbuildings into a makeshift studio: an old bread oven which overlooks the garden and adjoining forest. The result was something of a mystical working environment, full of history and a vibrant energy, set right in the heart of a megalithic triangle. Indeed, one of the cornerstones of that sacred geometry is situated on his land: an officially indexed menhir which is a local landmark almost as popular as the Carnac alignment. It sounds too good to be true, but that’s where he recorded most of his vocal pirouettes.
"There’s a special energy around this place that is really fascinating, even disturbing," he explains. “I’m very sensitive to that. Sometimes I actually found it hard to work here because the atmosphere is charged with a power that’s almost destructive.”

Loïc: his first name flags an attachment to this land of legends. "I spent my childhood sailing with my father off the Gulf of Morbihan, Belle-Île-en-Mer, Ouate, Glénan," he explains. He loves the sea, and will often split two sessions of transcendental meditation with a surfing break. And it was within an ocean of pure consciousness, haunted by ghosts who have traversed not only the ages but the very place where he lives, that Loïc confronted his own doubts and misgivings, life’s impermanence, worldly folly. In doing so, he alternated periods of despair and euphoria, and such duality finds expression even in the album's title, and the happy ending it implies: Lost and Found. Likewise the cover image: a house painted by Jean Mallard. Inspired by a more famous house on the rocky islet of Saint-Cado, it is a setting as much as an anchor point for this new album. "It's a fisherman's hut surrounded by the sea," Loïc explains. “At high tide, it looks like it's floating. But whereas the sea around it is always changing, the hut itself doesn’t budge, just stays put.” It's a metaphor for his new life: well anchored, sheltered from outside pressures and storms.

This album presents the softer side of Isaac Delusion, albeit with their dazzling pop only superficially appeased, and their lyrics’ profundity never undercut by the simplicity of their melodies. At the album’s anxious heart is a frustration which is also the songs’ driving force. "Dancing on your own on the way back home / You lost your dreams somewhere, somehow": these few lines from the album’s title song describe fleeting moments of magic in the everyday urban grind. But they constitute an invitation to realize one's potential, to follow the prompt of HVN, by first salvaging a little self-esteem. If ever such efforts go awry, you have to find someone who’ll catch you whenever you fall - be that a lover, as in Que pour toi, or a friend, in All day, performed with Olivia Merilahti, former singer with The Dø. Together, these two nightowls wonder how to reconcile a family life with that of a dopamine-addicted artist. Elsewhere, the songwriter questions the immateriality of love, emotions, and relationships (Internet), and finds nothing more authentic than his relationship with his seven-year-old son (50/50). But another part of that story sees a parent suffering as they watch that child take flight as adulthood beckons (Let Her Go). The album closes with the collective Everyone Is Dreaming, performed with Loïc’s partner on backing vocals and his neighbor on clarinet.

To explore new ground, on this album the band turned for the first time to outside musicians and producers, most notably LUCASV, architect of popular French hip hop artist Disiz's latest album, at just 24 years old. “It's been interesting to work with this young generation of musicians, who are all very mature for their age,” says Loïc. “Seeing how they work opens you up to new perspectives. They’re incredibly good with technology. There’s nothing they can’t do.” From the band BLOW, the musician and arranger Jean-Etienne Maillard also contributed to the album. Isaac Delusion's other founding member, Jules Pacotte, also co-wrote two songs with Loïc. "We’ve been friends since middle school," he explains. They recorded their first hit, Midnight Sun, in his attic in Vincennes. Finally, the mixing of the album was assigned to another long-time collaborator, sound engineer Perceval Carré (Parcels, L'Impératrice), who has worked with them since their very first concerts.

Writing and recording in close collaboration with other artists also brought out other changes in the singer: new vocal tessitura. He no longer restricts himself to that angelic, high-pitched voice deployed with such ease on sprightly ritornellos reminiscent of Kings of Convenience. On Internet, he croons. On Valse, he ventures into Prince-ly soul. Then reveals his natural voice on the outro Everyone is Dreaming, a ballad worthy of Lou Reed. "I tend to sing with a high-pitched ‘head’ voice, or even in falsetto like Thom Yorke, Sigur Rós or Jeff Buckley, even though that's not my natural register," he reveals. “Performing live, I need to do some serious vocal gymnastics to hit the high notes! My voice is actually pitched much lower. So when I drop down there, people think it's not actually me singing.” (laughs) It’s through such risk-taking that this album produces its greatest surprises. The precious object: lost and found.


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Lost and found - CD
Isaac Delusion Uplifters Release LP Microqlima
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Rust & Gold
Isaac Delusion Rust & Gold Release LP Microqlima
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Isaac Delusion - T-Shirt
Isaac Delusion Isaac Delusion - T-Shirt Merch 2 colors available Microqlima
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Isaac Delusion Isaac Delusion - Casquette Merch 2 colors available Microqlima
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Isaac Delusion T-shirt Isaac Delusion Merch 2 colors available Microqlima
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T-shirt crop top Isaac Delusion
Isaac Delusion T-shirt crop top Isaac Delusion Merch 2 colors available Microqlima
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