Netflix’s new series The Haunting of Hill House takes top song this week with a track featured in the season 1 finale.
At the end of the finale episode, the Crain kids (as adults) address the damages of their past and attempt to move on. ‘If I Go, I’m Goin’ begins to play as Shirley speaks truthfully to Kevin, overlapped with Steven reflecting on his regrets to his wife, Leigh. Steven’s voice continues, reciting a passage from Shirley Jackson’s novel (the source material for The Haunting of Hill House). He talks about walls, keeping things in and keeping things out, the secrets they hold and how wrong they can be.
Flashing forward two years, Steven’s words and Gregory Alan Isakov’s haunting melody combine for a montage of the Crain kids moving forward. We pan to Hill House as the monologue continues, ending with a lingering chord and resounding tone before the instrumental ending plays through the credits.
In an interview with 303 Magazine, Gregory Alan Isakov told the story of this song saying, “One of my best friends Johannes Wagner, my other friend Ron Scott, and I [were] down in Kerrville, Texas. They have a festival every year with amazing music and people hanging out playing music, and Johannes and I were working on this song about this guy living in a house where his wife died and he couldn’t leave and goes crazy and burns it down.”
He continued about the process of telling that lyrical story, “We are both into Bruce Springsteen and neither of us write like him. He’s a storyteller, like you’re watching a movie. I have a different style, but we were walking on this style. We were sitting on the bed of my truck and we had like, (singing) I will go if you ask me to, and our friend John Elliot walks by and goes, “I’ll stay if you dare.” And he kept walking, and didn’t even hang out.”
Gregory Alan Isakov has been making a name for himself as an indie-folk singer/songwriter for several years – including many sync placements in television and movies – and is no stranger to collaboration. Connecting with Brandi Carlile for a 2009 tour, she appears on Isakov’s 2007 album This Empty Northern Hemisphere lending depth to ‘If I Go, I’m Goin’ with her harmonies.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Isakov and his family immigrated to Philadelphia when he was 7 years old. He left Philadelphia to study horticulture in Colorado, but was rerouted to go on his first tour with delta blues/jazz musician, Kelly Joe Phelps and put school on hold indefinitely.
Isakov self-released his first four albums, before creating his personal label Suitcase Town Music in 2013. He’s since released three more albums, including Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony (2016) and his latest October 5, 2018 release Evening Machines.
Isakov is now settled in Colorado on his three-acre farm. He is a full-time farmer growing various market crops and tending to a thriving musical career. His studio in his barn is filled with instruments and gear stored there by musician friends—gear Isakov always leaves on, just in case inspiration strikes.
〉Listen now: If I Go, I’m Goin by Gregory Alan Isakov