It’s been a long month away from home for Gregory Alan Isakov.
The singer-songwriter has been on the road for the better part of a year in support of his 2018 album, “Evening Machines.”
The past two weeks, he’s been on tour with his friend, Passenger.
The tour has taken him overseas and in front of some of the biggest audiences he’s played for.
“It’s going amazing,” he says in an interview from Cape Town, in his native South Africa. “We did a couple of shows in Dubai recently. The other night, I was on the stage and it was just me in front of 10,000 people. I had to let it sink in.”
Isakov will bring his tour for a show on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at El Rey Theater in Downtown Albuquerque.
The musician, now based in Colorado, is no stranger to New Mexico. He often performs in Taos and Santa Fe.
“I’ve really wanted to get to Albuquerque,” he says. “It’s about time I get there.”
Released in October 2018, “Evening Machines,” Isakov’s seventh studio album, was written over the course of a few years.
On tour, he’s performing a lot of the new record, though the entire set draws from his entire catalog.
“I’ll also do some unreleased songs,” he says. “My songs are all on the slower side, so I have to put together the set in a way that keeps the momentum going.”
Over the course of his career, the 40-year-old musician says, his songs have changed but he can’t pinpoint how.
“I’ve often wondered if songwriting is an evolution. I don’t think it is,” he says. “Each time I write, it feels like I’m beginning something again. I base my writing off life experiences. I get into different curiosities. I was obsessed with space and cosmos at one point. Then I was into old Irish ocean songs.”
One thing that Isakov pays attention to is letting his writing happen freely.
“I don’t pretend to know what I’m doing,” he says. “I write songs and then put the best songs together that make sense. I also like to be the observer and let ideas come to me that way.”
He had 35 songs written for “Evening Machines,” and 10 made the album.
He’s preparing a new album and says some of the castoffs may take a new form.
“I have these songs, and sometimes I’ll steal an idea from an incomplete song,” he says. “I’ll take from older, unfinished work to create something new.”