Joburg-based Isaac Dennison’s self-written, self-produced album Inside is a descent into the dark and disillusioned space that those living with mental illness find themselves in all too often.
This descent begins in the comfortable space of that good ol’ catch phrase “Everything’s Fine”. The borderline infuriating repetition of those two words spins up the frustration that comes with bottling things up for the sake of social etiquette.
The album hits free-fall with “The Circus” which almost feels like something unhinged after “King of Hearts” a song with a relatively lighter feel – I say relatively because it’s still pretty heavy.
By the time the cynical “It’s Just Ducks! (Interlude)” comes around Inside has become the sound of disillusionment. The song itself drives home how tedious time-passing small talk is.
The mood seems to stabilise through the rest of the album before “Violet” delivers an overwhelming sucker punch. Opening with a genuine, vulnerable voice over followed by a single verse before an almost four minute hypnotic, emotionally charged instrumental section brings the curtain down on the album.
Inside was written as a way of reaching out to people who suffer from mental illness and with the all-too familiar landscape it creates comes a sense of relatability and, in turn, comfort.