Our lives are like sands in an hourglass. Each moment slips through our fingertips, no matter how we attempt to hold tight. With his new song “Fifteen,” folky singer-songwriter Izzy Heltai reflects on the passing of time and how crushing getting older can be. “Can I see you again?” he ponders, putting the refrain on loop.
“In high school, what scared me the most was I would never be someone,” sings Heltai, heaving every possible emotion from his chest. “Someone loved without making compromises.”
Heltai’s voice is equal parts smooth and reedy, blowing over the melody and leaving an imprint on the heart. He continues, letting time wash over his body, “10 years since I was 15 / I still feel like I’m 15…”
As he admits, aging doesn’t exactly feel like aging at all. In a statement, he explains, “My dad once told me that every time he looks in the mirror, he still expects to see a sixteen-year-old looking back. It was one of the first times I really realized that maybe we don’t see ourselves the way other people see us.”
That pulverizing weight lands squarely on Heltai’s shoulders. “I’m in my late 20s now, but I don’t feel much more put together than when I was fifteen,” he says. “My friends are getting married, people my age are buying houses, having kids, and I’m just kind of doing the same things I did when I was a teenager.”
Listen to “Fifteen” below.
Izzy Heltai has been making quite a name for himself in the folk circuit. Over the past several years, he’s released heart-tearing song after song. With “Fifteen,” sampling a forthcoming EP titled mostly myself again, out this Friday (October 20), the hefty, wonderfully moving songwriting continues with unrelenting precision. Heltai has a way of cutting to the heart in ways his contemporaries fail to do. In fact, he’s among the finest songwriters we have today.