Los Angeles singer-songwriter Neil Holyoak and his ever-shifting band of musicians perform together as Holy Oak and are gearing up for the release of their new album Second Son, due out in June. Today, the band premieres “Isabelle,” a delicate six-minute track that mixes folky guitar picks with Holyoak’s definitive storytelling.
“And if all that I was were sucked into this great wide ocean/ Oh how lucky I’d been that you were here,” Holyoak sings on the track. It’s striking and heartbreaking, and the depths of that statement lingers long after the song has finished. Holyoak shares further insight on the sweeping acoustic number:
I wrote most of this song while I was driving a boat by myself on the ocean. I thought, “if I disappear now, no one will ever find me.” Instead of fear I felt immeasurably grateful for everyone who has meant so much to me.
I almost left this one off the album because it felt so sad and confrontationally personal. I sang the last verse “time has her thunder / but I have mine” knowing it was only half true. At the end, Katherine sang a Carter Family style three part harmony with herself which caused me to keep the song on the record.
Listen to the song below.
Second Son is out 6/9. Pre-order it here.