Lovers Prayers

In the past ten years, indie rock's sub-genres have been multiplying like bacteria. Dream pop, shoegaze, sadcore, slowcore — one practically has to be a scholar to keep up with them all. Ida deserve a "tag" all their own — "minimalist folk" or "quietcore folk-rock." I can't comment on Ida's earlier efforts, but this NY band/married couple's seventh album is the first and maybe last word in intense, low-volume, folk/blues-oriented listening. Ida's vocal harmonies seem just above a whisper, almost as if to urge the listener to lean forward and listen more intently. Their close boy/girl heartfelt singing evoke Richard & Linda Thompson, whose "For Shame of Doing Wrong" is covered here. The instrumentation (acoustic and occasional electric guitar, strings, piano, harmonium, and percussion) achieves a chamber music-like ambience. Their songs have a rural, folkie feel, except for occasional detours through the blues ("Worried Mind Blues").

Lovers Prayers is introspective and melancholic (almost overwhelmingly so), but it's adult introspection, tales of people who've been 'round life's block a few times. Without ever being precious or over-emoting, Ida sings of things worldly with dignity and soul. (Polyvinyl)


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