Isobelle Gunn

Isobelle Gunn

 London, Ontario, CAN
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Isobelle Gunn is an acoustic folk vocal trio whose musical collaboration creates a lush and innovative roots sound.

Biography

Isobelle Gunn is the London, Ontario based internationally-acclaimed acoustic vocal trio comprised of Leanna Zeyl, Jeremy Zeyl and Lara Schat-Zeyl. The musical collaboration of this sister-brother/husband-wife initiative relies on blended voices and lyrics which evoke comparisons to artists such as Sufjan Stevens, Sarah Harmer, Emmylou Harris and Iron and Wine.

Isobelle Gunn began singing together in the spring of 2006 and released their debut, self-titled EP in April 2007, quickly achieving critical acclaim with the song “Emily,” which received an Honourable Mention in the ISC International Songwriting Competition (2007), in addition to other awards. In October 2007, a Creation of New Work grant from the Ontario Arts Council was awarded to Jeremy on behalf of Isobelle Gunn to write a 12 song album, which resulted in the July 2009 release of Isobelle Gunn’s much anticipated new album, “Flesh on Steel.” The group toured the album in the summer of 2009, a tour which culminated in a showcase at the Canadian Country Music Awards, held in Vancouver, BC.

With appearances at such venues as the Rogue Folk Series, the Canterbury Folk Festival, Aeolian Hall, London Music Club and Hamilton Staircase Theatre, this new addition to Canada’s folk scene is delighting audiences everywhere they go.

Awards:

September, 2009: Canadian Country Music Awards - Gospel Music Showcase, Vancouver, BC. October, 2007: Ontario Arts Council - "Creation of New Work" Grant awarded to Jeremy Zeyl of Isobelle Gunn to write a full length album, resulting in the 2009 release of "Flesh On Steel." 2007: International Songwriting Competition (ISC)"Emily" - Honourable Mention Winner (15,000 entrants in over 100 countries) June 2007: Live Radio Interview with Paul Corby for "Corby's Orbit," CKLN, Toronto, ON. 2007: Mountain Stage New Song Contest - Isobelle Gunn placed in the Canadian Top 12. Songwriting awards for "Emily" 2007: Runner Up - Song of the Year (Nashville). Runner Up - Durango Song Contest (California)

Lyrics

Melody

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl

Morning has come, it feels like so long
Watching the hours run away from my home
Through the glass, shining the sun
Warm like the feeling you know that you’re loved

And you in my heart with me
I’m humming a melody
And this is the song I sing
I love you

Thoughts begin to bloom like a flower
Steady your hand this enlightening hour
On the cross unveiling my eyes
Every second a sudden surprise

And you in my heart with me
I’m humming a melody
And this is the song I sing
I love you

Comfort on the psalm of your hand
Sometimes in the morning I don’t understand
When you’re in my heart with me
I’m humming a melody
And this is the song I sing
I love you

Black Star

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl

In the centre of the city
My swollen eyes are heavy
I can see my breath in white
The snow falls on my shoulders
Standing like I’m older
There’s a widow in my sigh

Black Star like a hole in the sky
Black Star you’re a thief in the night
Slow kiss and a cold lullaby
You’re the Black Star in my eyes

You left to fight for freedom
But the bullet ripped right through you
And it took away your life
I dig my hands in deeper
Remembering your whisper
“I will love you till I die”

Black Star like a hole in the sky
Black Star you’re a thief in the night
Slow kiss and a cold lullaby
Black Star in my eyes

In the thick and heavy linger
The streetlight’s painful flicker
I choke without your light

Flesh On Steel

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl

Haunting me that your not here
My stomach turning over fear
I know you’re caught up in the heat
It’s an angry mouth you gotta feed

The bottle rips across your face
Broken pieces like a blade
Cut your skin your flesh on steel
You only trust what you can feel

You’re running in a foreign land
And no one else will understand
Shake your head and drink it off
Swallow hard and move along

The bottle rips across your face
Broken pieces like a blade
Cut your skin your flesh on steel
You only trust what you can feel

I don’t know where you are

I sit beside the empty chair
The music’s on but I don’t hear you
Sinking slowly settles in
I can feel the metal on my skin

Cut your skin your flesh on steel
You only trust what you can feel

Stained Glass

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl


Through the back door of the grey stone downtown church
Congregation, my stomach feels like dirt
Wooden benches; I slip in the back
Heard redemption’s slipping through the cracks
Out in the street I got somebody looking for me

Sometimes I’m lying and swearing I made a mistake
But I saw him coming and shot him to make the man pay
Sun through the stained glass, dust pieces hang in the air
Preacher is preaching and I’m trying so hard to care

Girl with black hair sings a few rows up
I’m distracted while they pass the cup
Eat this bread for it’s the body of
Who knows what it is but it makes my heart speed up
She turns her head and catches me looking at her

Sometimes I’m lying and swearing I made a mistake
But there were tears in her eyes like she sees something decent in me
Sun through the stained glass, dust pieces hang in the air
Can’t look away; I’m trying so hard to care

The last blessing, arms raised at the front
Her palms are open, I stand stiff and dumb
People moving towards the back door
Coming quickly I better leave before
Someone finds out who it was hiding here in the church

Sometimes I’m lying and swearing I made a mistake
But I saw him coming and shot him to make the man pay
Sun on the stained glass from outside; the cross in the air
I turn the corner and I’m trying so hard to care

Sometimes I’m lying and swearing I made a mistake
But I saw him coming and shot him to make the man pay

The Getaway

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl

In the dew throughout the grass, it had begun
A life of running with my right hand on the gun
Like an animal who burst out of his cage
I spend all my energy on getaways

It pays to have a plan
When you’ve murdered a man

But don’t stop to look back
Nightmares always catch up with me
I turned only for a glance
It still haunts me that I’m not free

I could see their house from on top the hill
I was sweating from the passion of my kill
The one who separated me from all I knew
I was satisfied with what I had to do

It pays to have a plan
When you’ve murdered a man

Don’t stop to look back
Nightmares always catch up with me
I turned only for a glance
It still haunts me that I’m not free

Unlocked the door I knew exactly where to go
Past the kitchen and the laundry I moved slow
It had been a couple years since I had left
On the stairs, I knew the creaky ones to miss
Beating drums inside my head as I walked up
I’m a bitter savage in suburbia
Saw them sleeping with his arm over her back
I remembered how it felt when I did that

Don’t stop to look back
Nightmares always catch up with me
I turned only for a glance
It still haunts me that I’m not free

Carnival

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl, Leanna Zeyl, Lara Schat-Zeyl

Stood alone beside the bed
In the sweat of my hotel
I went out to work my shift
Southern air was hot as hell
Out in the painted street
Was the crowded carnival
I’d been drinking to escape
A runaway, ya from myself
Through the barker’s row on row
Twenty minutes till my show

And I hear “Step right up folks, try your luck”
Dirty whispers, dirty love

I put the mask over my eyes
And a bright red flower in my hair
My legs are bare, up to my thighs
The more you share the more they lie
I hear the dirty calls
As I wait behind the stage
The music starts and I dance on
The money’s good up by their faces
I can smell my sweat on lace

“Step right up folks, try your luck”
Dirty whispers, dirty love

Naked when it’s all done
The men got everything they wanted
I sit down and light a cigarette and cry soft
I think about the last year
A day like this for each tear
Living off the things I know
Working at the carnival
Spinning rides and Ferris wheels
Neon lights and ringing bells

“Step right up folks, try your luck”
Dirty whispers, dirty love

Silver

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl

Slow falling sun, shadow of the gun
Coming out from on my shoulder
Rested on my horse, set upon the course
We can’t stop until it’s over
Her determined stride
Across the great divide
Gonna find out where’s my glory
Some of us are kings
Some of us got things
Gonna go with just my story

The stars are singing while I am leaving
Silver songs about my life
The day is over, my pain is older
And to my Savior, do I ride

I can feel her gait, movement in her mane
Carry me across that river
My body hangs like a torn up rag
Drop my gun into the water
That determined stride
Across the great divide
Gonna find out where’s my glory
Some of us are kings
Some of us got things
Gonna go with just my story
She is slowing down
Where do I go now?
I don’t know,
My fear is violent
My bones are weak
Eyes no longer see
The silver starlight shining

The stars are singing while I am leaving
Silver songs about my life
The day is over, my pain is older
And with my Savior do I ride

Sarah

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl

Sarah was a child the first time that she realized
Everything was not ok with the world
Old men do bad things, but if you just don’t talk about them
Bad things go away; deep down, away from anyone

Sarah started to believe
It’s better if you shut your mouth
Just don’t let it out

We’ll be out of control
It’s better if you don’t
So we can save ourselves

Sarah took a trip, New York with her closest friends
Feeling very safe, they stayed up late
Sarah could not speak, when they talked about the boys
She was just a little girl, and now a freak, but what a pretty one

Sarah started to believe
It’s better if you shut your mouth
Just don’t let it out

We’ll be out of control
It’s better if you don’t
So we can save ourselves

Please don’t let it out…

Sarah grew up quiet, and never did tell anyone
What he did to her: “It was nothing,” she would tell herself
When the old man died, silently she wept inside
At the funeral, from the front row

Sarah wanted to believe
It’s better if you shut your mouth
Just don’t let it out

We’ll be out of control
It’s better if you don’t
So we can save ourselves

Please don’t let it out…

Hurricane

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl

Nothing but the wind and engine,
I get caught up in the sound
Right now, I ride like thunder blows out of the clouds

Calm like a storm and I’m on the run
A hurricane under the sun

I got nothing in my memory
Just the promise of the road
Untold, I swallow every mile up as I go

Calm like a storm and I’m on the run
A hurricane under the sun

I’m gonna streak like a lighting bolt
Touch down like a tornado
Scream like the violent wind
Calling my name again
And again I will leave behind
The glare of the city lights
I can outrun the rain
If I ride like a hurricane

I wanna breathe the open country
Fill my soul up in the wild
It feels right underneath the northern sky at night

Calm like a storm and I’m on the run
A hurricane under the sun

I’m gonna streak like a lighting bolt
Touch down like a tornado
Scream like the violent winds
Calling my name again
And again I will leave behind
The glare of the city lights
I can outrun the rain
If I ride like a hurricane

I’m gonna go ‘til I run out of land
Into the sea like a hurricane can

Soldiers

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl, Lara Schat-Zeyl

Many years since you have died
Still I live with sorrow in my eyes
Rivers running down my naked cheek
I got things to say but I can't speak

We were soldiers
Enemies with fighting orders
We were daggers
Cut each other sharp with anger
We were holy
Righteous both on sides of glory

Looking at the name written in stone
Look at how we cover up the bones
Battle under cemetery sky
Bleeding from the blade that’s in my side

We were soldiers
Enemies with fighting orders
We were daggers
Cut each other sharp with anger
We were holy
Righteous both on sides of glory

Living in the bottom of my soul
Sitting is an unforgiving stone
Heaven’s bound to everything on earth
Glory has been covered up with dirt

We were soldiers
Enemies with fighting orders
We were daggers
Cut each other sharp with anger
We were holy
Righteous both on sides of glory

Breakable

Written By: Jeremy Zeyl, Lara Schat-Zeyl

Wineglass on the table cloth
I heard you betrayed our love
We’re here in the candlelight
Your dress is your favorite white
You ask if I remember when
We met, when we were only ten?
But I cannot meet your gaze
‘Cause I know what I’m about to say:

“Our love is a glass of wine
It holds the beauty and the taste of time
It’s strong and unmistakable
But our love is breakable”

Your cheeks are flushed with shock
You stand and the wineglass drops
Confused, with a scarlet stain
Slow tears as you walk away

“Our love is a glass of wine
It holds the beauty, and the taste of time
It’s strong and unmistakable
Our love is breakable”

Shattered glass across the floor
The back of your body at the door
Shadow of pain across my face
Two table roses and a stain

“Our love is a glass of wine
It holds the beauty, and the taste of time
It’s strong and unmistakable
But our love is breakable

Discography

Flesh On Steel - 2009
Isobelle Gunn - 2007

Set List

A typical full-length show includes two 45-50 minute sets; when working with other artists in the same evening, we generally do one 45-50 minute set.

ORIGINALS:

Breakable
Melody
Soldiers
Black Star
Hurricane
In Your Arms
Emily
Flesh On Steel
Not My Own
Carnival
Stained Glass
The Getaway
Sarah
Silver
Everlasting Peace
Freedom
Your Little Eyes
I Send Up a Prayer
Jericho and Rome
Bloodstained Town
The Raven Flew

COVERS:

Eleanour Rigby
Jackson
Hallelujah
I'm Gonna Miss Her
Falling Slowly
I Know My Love
John Wayne Gacy Jr.
Devils and Dust
Cry of a Tiny Babe