Electronic music is alive and well in Dayton

Isaac Williams’ ultra-catchy electro-pop



I try to stay up on the latest local releases but some excellent ones do occasionally slip by. That’s the case with “Bedroom,” which electronic musician-producer Isicle released in late January. It’s been awhile since his last full-length and this new album is so good, so I didn’t want to let it pass without mentioning it.

Isaac Williams, who sings and raps, has been releasing ultra-catchy electro-pop under the moniker Isicle since his debut album, “Remember to Forget” (2014). Aside from “DNA,” a 2020 collaborative single with Pagu, “Bedroom,” is his first release since the EP, “Living Room” (2019), and first full-length since “About Female” (2017).

Like past work, the new songs deftly mix contemporary pop, hip-hop, R&B and electronic dance music. Williams is joined by guests like Gab Maas & the Bruins, Audley and Rachel Turner, who also sang on the 2014 Isicle single, “Summer Lights.” Rapper Dave Zup, a graduate of the University of Dayton, is featured on the track, “Binge This Season.”

“I really like Isicle,” Zup said. “I’ve been down on that a lot. I didn’t even know the song we did together was going to be on his new album and it was. I’ve been enjoying that album so much. There’s a lot of good Dayton music coming out now and he’s somebody that has really been crushing it.”

Art Jipson, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Dayton, agrees. As the host of the long-running Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative program on WUDR-FM (98.1/99.5), his weekly playlist is heavy on not just songs from national and international acts but also music created by area artists like Isicle.

“Obviously, I’m a big proponent of Dayton music where you have all these brilliant songs,” Jipson said. “So much great music came out in 2020 and early 2021 that should’ve been top of the charts. It shows you how screwed up the industry is. I’m thinking of guys like the Boxcar Suite or Isicle. They’re doing such amazing stuff that should really fit in the Top 40 but the Top 40 has become industry-focused and controlled.

“Unless you’re a major name with millions of dollars behind you, you don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell,” Jipson added. “I’d like to think that will change but I’m not going to hold my breath.”

While Isicle isn’t getting traditional radio play, there is support from some college radio and public radio outlets, in addition to podcasts and online specialty shows. His major releases are available on Spotify and other streaming platforms.

Artist info: isicle.bandcamp.com.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

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