FFWD Weekly
February 28, 2002

Idaho Music

It’s always the quietest ones that make the biggest impression.

Hearts of Palm, the last (and debatably best) Idaho record, was largely a solo project for songwriter Jeff Martin that was not only personal but altogether personable. Now left to entirely his own devices (with an occasional appearance by new drummer Alex Kimmel), Martin takes a fond look back at the earliest days of Idaho with Levitate.

In the early 1990s, like minded bands such as Codeine and Bedhed proved that white noise wasn’t just for heavy rock, but also the perfect territory for slow songs. Wrangling the polar opposites of buzzing guitar feedback and lull-some piano, Martin places himself somewhere between chill-out atmospherics and slow-build rock dynamics – an area where he is matched by few.

Martin doesn’t write straightforward guitar riffs, but rather humming asides caused by brushed fingertips. He’d much rather surround the listener with sound than attack with it, and with Levitate he’s created another song cycle of unmatched beauty and resonance. Essentially a solo endeavour, Martin proves Idaho can be just as successful an experiment when the band membership is as sparse as the music itself.



this review is/was posted at www.ffwdweekly.com
and is available here for archival purposes