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ISMAY is a Folk/Americana music project driven by California-based singer/songwriter Avery Hellman. Their debut album Songs Of Sonoma Mountain was released in 2020 and named one of the 10 best Albums in the Bay Area and garnered features in American Songwriter, No Depression, Sonoma Magazine, and more. For their sophomore album, Desert Pavement, they teamed up with prolific Folk/Americana multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Andrew Marlin of Watchhouse. Growing up backstage at their grandfather’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, ISMAY was inspired early on by artists such as Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, and Hazel Dickens. Since then, they have appeared throughout the West Coast at music festivals such as Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Strawberry Music Festival, The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, The Lantern Tour, and at renowned venues such as the Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, the Golden State Theater, and the Mystic Theater. ISMAY has opened for acclaimed artists including Steve Earle, Watchhouse, Justin Townes Earle, Robert Earl Keen, John Doe, and Chuck Prophet. Gearing up for the release of Desert Pavement, ISMAY will reveal 2023 tour dates in addition to confirmed performances at the SF Jazz Americana Week and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, as well as other exciting announcements.

Debut Full-length Record

SONGS OF SONOMA MOUNTAIN

 

"An enchanting composition that reflects the storybook wistfulness of Aldous Harding and Weyes Blood. ISMAY helps usher in an era of mystical folk that is both incisive and playful and somewhat mysterious."

-- Glide Magazine


"Every song weaved around the sights, sounds, and feel of the surrounding land and guided gently by ISMAY's meticulous guitar and delicately captivating vocals."
-American Songwriter

Five years spent working and living on the family ranch informs ISMAY's debut full-length record, Songs of Sonoma Mountain. This album was recorded in a 100-year-old sheep barn at the ranch, seeking to immerse the listener in the world of Sonoma Mountain, and to evoke the sense that we aren’t as separate from nature as we may think. Co-produced by Robert Cheek (Engineer: Band of Horses, Chelsea Wolfe) and Avery Hellman, Songs of Sonoma Mountain features live vulnerable performances that bring out the character of the space. These songs tell stories from the perspective of the mountain, the animals upon it, and Ismay themself. The record interweaves field recordings with intricate songwriting and experimental production.

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