I is for Ida--the top-secret hush-hush side project of (shhhh!) Unit 7 Drain--takes the stage for the first time tonight in a two-for-one that promises to impress all around. That's something not often said about any single debut show or debut CD release. Unlike the suffocating mass of side projects infecting indie rock these days, little here will remind you of their incipient U7D nativity.
Troupers all, the impavid Prue Fell (bass, vox), the insistent Quintin Mire (drums) and the incubus Victor Lye (synth) have invited their friends The Oktober People, Romeo Goes To Hell, Gingerbread Patriots and, uh, Unit 7 Drain to help celebrate their coming-out party in style and musical camaraderie.
It's challenging to not wax poetic of the imagery that I is for Ida births: deepest indigo soundbeds like the hiss of snow falling on dry desert as individual flakes rise and collect, swirling into ghostly shapes.
Is it dawn or dusk, cold or warm, intricate or simple, happy or sad? Yes.
If this sounds like too much for a new three-piece to live up to, their self-titled release (free with admission!) will illuminate these words.
Ida will cast a tepid glow over your winter idylls with their incandescence, like a lone long black candle in a puddle of its own melted wax, the flame made of all colors including some you may have never before seen.
Glimpsed from the outside, one may be tempted to insert Ida into the goth slot, but that would be indelicate. The band does promote a certain graveyard aesthetic in their promotional illustrations but, as incorrupt as an immaculate body in hallowed ground, their music stands up to repeated listening.
No, rather than the invocation of gothic inner horror, I prefer to look towards the increate origin of the name "Ida," derived from Old Norse "Ithunn": the goddess of eternal life and keeper of the golden apples that keep the Viking gods eternally young.
Hearing I is for Ida makes me feel the same way. Call me I for impressed.