By Ian Bremner
If it were up to Izaak Opatz, he would be more of a mountain man than professional musician. Montana raised and based, Opatz has carved out a place for himself in all of the uncertainty of the last few years and his general reluctance to be participant in the music “industry.” Four years removed from his excellent debut record, Mariachi Static, he remains to have a good balance of writing music, touring around the West when he can, and keeping in tact a creative personal life.
Opatz has spent parts of the last decade working as a National Parks trail worker. The time outside and sharp eye on life allows for plenty of song fodder and he happens to be an excellent writer. So much so, that he has recently launched a newsletter entitled after his self-branded genre, “dirtwave,” the Dirtwave Digest. Subscribers receive pleasant emails with Opatz’s ever-entertaining musings with a just a sprinkle of music promotion.
His latest effort, Extra Medium, is his 2nd full length on Mama Bird Records. It builds off of Mariachi Static‘s mountain rock with a wink. The record’s bio on Bandcamp simply reads “lullabies for single people” and it’s true in some sense. It is full of songs of solitude, tunes of the road, of the helicopters over head and spacing out the small screen of advertisements when filling the gas tank. A song like Shampoo, about squeezing the bottle and getting to the bottom of the last drops without giving up is a real life metaphor for sticking out the rough parts of a relationship. That is uniquely an Opatz tune.
Extra Medium is 12 tracks of specific writings that act as short stories with a twist, carved out of the same branch Opatz could surely repurpose into a survival tool in the Beartooth Mountains.
Buy/Listen to Extra Medium below