It says a lot about Isaac Watters that he has no qualms about comingling music and academia. His new single, “Child In The Rain,” is the latest example.
“The first line in the song—‘I was just asking for some understanding where the wall reaches the sea’—references my thesis project in architecture school,” he says. “I proposed an International Museum of Border Conflict at Friendship Park south of San Diego, where the border line runs down a hill across the beach and into the waves.”
Born John Isaac Watters in Mexico City, the unapologetically cerebral singer/songwriter grew up in Mexico and Tucson, Ariz., moving to Los Angeles in 2002 to snag that architecture degree at USC. Music has been Watters’ primary distraction over the last decade or so. He released three albums as John Isaac Watters from 2014 to 2017, touring nationally and generating some West Coast buzz from his weekly residency at the iconic Hyperion Tavern in Silver Lake. His shows attracted the likes of Jackson Browne, Mark Eitzel, Dan Bern and Arcade Fire’s Will Butler. By 2018, Watters was recording under the pseudonym Rainstorm Brother—but that detour was relatively short-lived.
“Child In The Rain” is included on the upcoming Isaac Watters EP Extended Play 001, due out January 17 on Hi-Res Records. Recent comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Father John Misty are apt. Watters has been dipping his toes in assorted genres over the years, but he seems to rest most comfortably along the mesmerizing continuum between minimalist folk and moody theatricality.
But back to the architecture thesis. “In the last 15 years since my project, the U.S. border patrol has replaced what was just a chain-link fence that families could meet at and talk through with two 32-foot-tall walls that are constantly patrolled, as if it’s a war zone,” he says. “If you get a chance to visit, you can walk down the beach from San Diego or up from Tijuana, and you’ll see a wall rising up in front of you on the continuous coastline. It’s the most unnatural thing. Whoever built that wall must have lost their childlike mind.”
We are proud to premiere “Child In The Rain” and its killer video today at MAGNET.