Isis Diamondz is an artist from Washington, DC who has been making music since the age of 9. Not wanting to be stuck in any one genre, she has been doing R&B and Hip Hop for most of her career. She has released 3 mixtapes: ‘Mood Ring’, ‘Sativa Saturdays’ and ‘BLK UNiKORN’, as well as having published her own book, titled “Cast Iron Skillet” and available on Amazon. Depending on the stage of your life, this recording will affect you differently. While I’m probably older than the target audience for this mixtape, I remember the extreme drama all relationships seemed to generate. A few years ago the ‘Mood Ring’ mixtape would have spoken to the deepest fiber of my being. Now, I’m just so glad I grew out of that period of my life, but I can grasp the amazing amount of talent and honesty it takes to write and perform such emotional music.
This is a slow-growing musical experience. Don’t expect bangers and upbeat dancefloor-fillers. Isis Diamondz’ sound is moody and melancholic. She gently reaches out to the audiences with images and details they can actually recognize. Her core elements are warm minimalist arrangements, hypnotizing melodies, and wry, deadpan vocal performances which she bends and twists in surprising ways.
She allows herself to be introspective while the music simmers and builds from track to track, loaded with unlikely hooks, and deep reflective lyrics. It’s cathartic, dramatic, and everything else you could want from an emotional album. However it’s never histrionic or euphoric.
‘Mood Ring’ is self-assured in its minimalism, supremely confident in its takedowns and obsessions, and carefully crafted and well-executed in its mood and atmosphere. Everything about Isis Diamondz’ seems littered with idiosyncrasies, from the peculiar interpolation of hip hop and R&B sensibilities into ambient soundscapes, to her endearingly off-kilter rhyming meter.
From the opening track, “Take a Number”, the mixtape seems to be scored with cool cynicism which makes you wonder how she possess the emotional currency to articulate it this effectively.
Moving ahead onto the hazy “Code (Unedited)”, and scratching beneath the surface of the mixtape’s exterior reveals a hell of a lot of heart, some fragility and, most importantly, real honesty, as she runs the gamut of millennial paranoia. The sound of the record continually speaks to Isis’ wandering frame of mind.
Elsewhere, songs like “Mood Ring” and “Numinous” make a point of capturing both the intricacies and the excruciating lows of relationships and finds Isis somewhere in between the two. Still, it’s her storytelling, along with her ethereal voice that offers the recording’s most rewarding twists.
By the time you reach “Falling Down Cover” (LilPeep – XXXtentacion Dedication), you would have noticed an inscrutable quality about Isis Diamondz that makes it feel like she’s speaking directly to you.
Her songs feel like a secret shared between friends, as she paints vivid pictures of interior dramas. The “Mood Ring” mixtape sounds hypnotic, modern, and essential, while Isis Diamondz treats music as an emotional utility, not just a sonic art form.