Isles of ESP
If you're not careful, it's all too easy to miss some of the best music in the city. Isles of ESP is exemplary of that there's hardly anything to be found about the group online, beyond some videos and a self-titled album of richly orchestrated jazz-infused rock you can listen to on SoundCloud
While their live shows are in the mode of a rock band, the album is a bit different. A special moment in frontman Eric Dilworth's history, it was recorded a few years ago when he happened to have access to a number of musicians with whom he was able to realize a bigger sound than is possible in the basic rock setting. The result is sweeping and lovely, as emotionally intense as it is sonically pretty.
The band's current lineup is Dilworth on guitar and vocals, Matt Leuke on bass, Keith Bedore on guitar, and Dilworth's longtime music partner Justin Walker on drums. Dilworth and Walker, in fact, grew up together on Detroit's east side and have been playing together for years, although the band was not officially formed until 2008.
Growing up listening to blues, R&B, Motown, hip-hop, and rock 'n' roll all paved the path for Dilworth's musical growth, but it was free jazz that helped remind him not to be afraid of fearless expression. And sure, you may not hear that specific influence in the live performance, but you will definitely feel it in the energy.
Keep an eye on Isles of ESP; the warmer months should hopefully bring a tour, rediscovery of new sounds, and the release of an EP containing several songs they've been playing live for some time. Ana Gavrilovska
Isles of ESP plays P.L.A.V. Post #10 for Hamtramck Music Festival on Saturday, March 4 at midnight; 11824 Joseph Campau Ave., Hamtramck.