Steph’s DJ pick of the week is the Gregory Alan Isakov track “Watchman.” With a gentle string-driven arrangement, it showcases Isakov at his best, blending lyrical depth with instrumental beauty.
“Watchman” opens calmly, with ukulele and strings offering a bright sound palette. Isakov enters to tell his story with a warm vocal which contrasts and complements the instrumentation. As the song progresses, a bass fills out the low end, and a subtle kick drum keeps the track in motion. It gives the listener the image of a horse walking slowly through rustic settings, moving forward but not fast.
“Our love is hungry and cold,” he sings. “Leave a trail of stones so we can make it back.” It’s a lyric that touches emotion more than concrete imagery, as the literal and metaphorical become blurred. “When the coyote come, oh, I’ll be your watchman.” As the song crescendos, we’re given time to ponder what that coyote symbolizes.
Isakov released his latest album Appaloosa Blues on August 18th via Dualtone Records and his own label, Suitcase Town Music. He’s been playing tracks from the album, including “Watchman,” on his current tour, which included two nights at the Ryman in October. He’s playing more American shows in early 2024, but for now, listen to his latest below:
Tune in to 100.1 FM or lightning100.com all day to hear “Watchman” by Gregory Alan Isakov. It’s Stephanie’s DJ Pick of the Week! Share your thoughts on the track by tagging #L100DJPicks on Twitter!