My Fair, My Dark EP

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With Levon Helm climbing onboard for two songs, My Fair, My Dark serves as reminder of Ida's folksy, country-leaning tendencies. The seven-song EP isn't all twang, of course; "Don't Wreck It," "Still Life," and the title track stick to the hushed, intimate sounds that earned the band its sadcore tag. But My Fair, My Dark sounds best during the remaining numbers, which feature close harmonies and competent fretwork on an array of mandolins, acoustic guitars, and ukuleles. Perhaps the most notable track is "All the Pain," an old-timey Dolly Parton cover that allows Elizabeth Mitchell to sing her rustic heart out. Elsewhere, the group covers John Martyn's "Road to Ruin" and Annie Brigg's "The Time Has Come," the latter track featuring gorgeous coed vocals and Daniel Littleton's fingerpicked guitar. Ida's two original songs can't hold a candle to such covers, but that's far from disconcerting, given the quality of the band's own compositions on Lovers Prayers (which was recorded at the same time as this effort) and the exemplary musicianship displayed throughout.

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