Ilsey, with a voice steeped in tender empathy and hard-fought wisdom, narrates each song on her new album with deliberate care, effortlessly traversing breezy Laurel Canyon rock and sparse pop ballads.
In the capable hands of acclaimed producer BJ Burton (known for his work with Bon Iver, Soccer Mommy, and Low) and benefitting from the additional production and co-writing prowess of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, Ilsey's latest album, From The Valley, is an exploration of love, longing, and heartbreak. Throughout its 10 tracks, the record dives deep into the complex emotions tied to the desire for escape, capturing the universal feeling of needing to leave a place to truly find oneself.
"Heart Of Gold" is a dreamy and evocative cover of the Neil Young classic and features Bon Iver as guests, making for the second time their musical paths have crossed. Ilsey had previously lent her vocals to Big Red Machine's single "Mimi" in 2021, a side project of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon alongside the National's Aaron Dessner.
Born and raised in the shadow of Laurel Canyon, Ilsey's musical roots run deep. No doubt thanks in part to her father - former Wings guitarist, Laurence Juber, she grew up surrounded by the sounds of Motown, the Beatles, and Pretenders, not to mention the Laurel Canyon sound embodied by Eagles, Joni Mitchell, and Fleetwood Mac. And this was just the start of her discovering what would become her influences. During her teenage years, Ilsey found inspiration in the works of songwriters like Nick Drake and Ben Harper, and honed her vocals by learning the intricacies of harmonies from the likes of Patty Griffin. From writing songs in solitude at the age of 15 to becoming a two-time Grammy-nominated songwriter, Ilsey went on to write for a varied group of artists such as Miley Cyrus, Kacey Musgraves, the 1975, Shawn Mendes, Panic! At The Disco, and more.
From The Valley not only showcases Ilsey's evolution as an artist but also reflects her ability to seamlessly traverse genres and emotions. With Burton and Vernon lighting the way, the album emerges as an expression of Ilsey's journey - a journey that began with writing songs in her bedroom but found resonance in the hearts of listeners throughout the world.