All about Izzy and the Robots: A New Kind of Irish Band
Izzy and the Robots is a newish group out of Ireland that has made a splash on the American music scene.
They are a five piece band with a female lead vocalist (Izzy) who also plays a killer electric guitar. There is actually a sixth band member who plays random instruments—violin, cello, tambourine, and harmonica. She is not always on stage, though, so it usually looks like a five piece instead of six piece band.
Izzy grew up in Dublin and you can see a hard edge to her that was sharpened during her years in the gritty side of the city. She is the one who pens most of the lyrics of the group’s songs. They are sometimes haunting lyrics, sometimes angry, sometimes bleak and despairing. But there is the song here and there that is tender and sweet and reveals a side of Izzy that has softened over the years.
I saw Izzy and the Robots in Times Square last New Year’s Eve. They were on one of the stages for the New Year’s Eve bash, following Mumford and Sons, and just before Macklemore.
It was like they were born to be there. Izzy and her band occupied the stage with such presence that we in the crowd felt like they were larger than life. I’m not sure what all transpired up there . . . whether Izzy was just really feeling it that night, or if she and the band had had a come-to-Jesus moment just before they went on stage, or if it was all a part of the magic of that night and that place. But whatever it was, their performance was huge and the crowd went crazy after each one of their songs.
Izzy herself was on fire that night. I’ve never heard her vocals so raw one song and so tender the next. She owned her music. She played that guitar like it was part of herself and she moved around the stage like water—fluid and effortless and natural.
The set that the band played that night was well constructed. It was a blend of their earlier songs and newer songs. Izzy introduced each song with a bit of background material so that anyone in the crowd who was unfamiliar with her work would have a context in which to fit the music. It was a good idea to do that in that setting, since the New Year’s Eve Times Square crowd is a mix of a wide variety of people. Many of the people in that crowd would have been unfamiliar with her music and the group.
So anyway, that was the last time I saw Izzy and the Robots live. Since that performance they have come out with a new album. It’s their fifth album to date. It doesn’t disappoint. Izzy brings her freshness and energy to each song. You can tell she is thinking about different things these days, as her songs reflect that.