Hearing Aide: Izzy Heltai ‘Only Yesterday’

Izzy Heltai’s new EP, Only Yesterday, dropped last Friday, April 19 on all streaming platforms. It feels nostalgic to his old work with more adult gut-punching overtones that make Only Yesterday something any indie-folk lover should check out.

Izzy Heltai captured by Emma Kate Rothenberg-Ware.

The four song  EP starts with Helai’s single, “Marching Song,” which Heltai says was very much about being in a low point of his depression and not having much self worth in himself. The songs starts with some slow strumming acoustic guitar and slowly, he starts to sing. A piano joins, just slightly, and then completely adds itself as the chorus starts. Heltai sings: “On and on a marching song gets sung inside my head. I’m walking out the door now. It feels like only yesterday I learned I could be here. Now here I go leaving.

Then, just after the chorus ends, a trumpet adds itself to the mix. “Marching Song” sits in the stomach of the listener and they can’t help, but empathise with Heltai feeling like “He’s drowning and dragging you down and if he says nothing you’ll stay on dry land.” It’s the feeling that someone will be better off without you – a hard thing to admit to oneself let alone sing out to the rest of the world.


The second song on the EP is called, “Common Sense,” and it starts with acoustic guitar and violin. It’s about thinking someone was the love of your life, but realizing, maybe you didn’t know them the way you thought. It’s a fabricated idea in your head. This is an emotion many have felt, but few are able to express in a way that’ll get across to the listener, the way Heltai does. It’s a feeling of nostalgia for someone that you realize, might not even really be for them, but for the idea of them.

“Stuck in Stone” follows the classic Heltai format starting with an acoustic guitar intro. Accompanied with an array of different instruments, percussive guitar works as a satisfying pause to the song. The song revolves around having your mind made up, but your body being “Stuck in Stone,” physically not being able to make yourself do what you’ve decided. As most of Heltai’s songs, it is a relatable feeling. Heltai puts his remarkable twists to make a familiar story one-of-a-kind with his unique word choices.

Izzy Heltai captured by Emma Kate Rothenberg-Ware.

Only Yesterday ends with “Mountain,” which switches up Heltai’s normal format. The song flows from present to past with Heltai’s current feelings on himself and love to things he’s experienced. His mother told him he couldn’t have candles in his room. He would burn the house down. Trumpet returns, adding a layer to the instrumental parts of the song, that resolve with an “ah” feeling for the listener.

The 16-minute long EP feels so much longer than that with its catchy choruses to its insightful words. Heltai is definitely someone too look out for in the indie-folk scene. Heltai is currently on tour and has dates across the United States from now until August. For more information visit his website.

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