Ida

Ten Small Paces

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Continuing a tradition established on their previous album, I Know About You, Ida's ranks swell to include another new member on Ten Small Paces -- bassist Karla Schickele, who also authors two of the recording's finest moments, "Fallen Arrow" and "Poor Dumb Bird." Continuing another Ida tradition, the record is even better than the one which preceded it: Ten Small Paces is unspeakably beautiful, a mesmerizing collection of songs marked by a rare intelligence and poignancy. Recorded at various points throughout the country, including His Name Is Alive mastermind Warren Defever's home studio in Michigan, the album maintains a loose, offhand feel perfectly suited to the warmth and intimacy of the group's material; strewn with covers -- a superb reading of Neil Young's "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" refutes any notion that Ida can't rock out, while their rendition of Brian Eno's "Golden Hours" rejects the assumption that they possess no sense of humor, Ten Small Paces is both more understated and more dynamic than any of the band's previous work, stretching from the gentle and instrumental opener "Hilot" to the bluesy revenge of Elizabeth Mitchell's razor-sharp "Purely Coincidental" with an absolute mastery of texture and mood.

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