In the film Once, a guy and a girl get together, make beautiful music, and then go their separate ways - although in real life, the couple fell very much in love. In many ways, the band Ida has walked a similar path, with the band's co-founders Dan Littleton and Elizabeth Mitchell tying the knot a few years ago, well into their 15- year career together. But the similarity also extends into the musical realm, for Ida's seventh and latest release, Lovers Prayers, is filled with lovely, bittersweet music that demonstrates how two people can truly make beautiful music together.
Recorded with Levon Helm (of The Band fame), the album's sound is somewhere on the spectrum between Low and Loeb (Lisa, that is, with whom Littleton and Mitchell worked on her hit "Stay"), with more than a little bit of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings to boot. Album opener "Lovers Prayers" would sound right at home in a Mark Eitzel setlist, marrying great songwriting and wonderful multi-part harmonizing. Mitchell's lovely voice takes point on "The Love Below," with its mixture of cello and slightly discordant guitar bringing a depth that belies its seemingly simple structure, but Littleton also takes the lead at times, such as on the Foo Fightery ballad "First Light." Of course, as one might expect, the two are strongest when they're harmonizing, particularly on folky/country songs like "Willow Tree," "The Killers" and "See the Stars."
Favorite Track: "The Love Below"
Michael Fiegel is a freelance writer and graphic designer. His diverse
background includes journalism, radio copywriting, technical writing,
game design and music reviewing. He is best known as the creator of the
Internet cult sensation, Ninja Burger. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at his website,