Emily Jane Powers Credit: Rachel Winslow

When local folk-pop artist Jessica Risker interviewed Chicago singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emily Jane Powers on her Music Therapy podcast in April 2020, Powers was halfway through recording an album. “I wanted to make a guitar-forward record,” Powers told Risker. “I wanted to let the guitar speak for me.” On the album in question, Isometry (which she self-released this past June), her guitars alternately howl and coo, sometimes snapping like gators fighting over a tantalizing fish. Powers says she drew inspiration from classic rock songs with dueling guitars, and she supercharges “Blue Black Grey White” with sprinting hammer-ons. Her playing isn’t all fireworks, though: she molds the sound of her six-string to fit whatever mood she wants, conforming to a Krautrock-like pulse on “Low Tide” and gently flowing through the spacious “PA Fog.” Those metamorphoses are ultimately what makes Isometry so captivating.  v