Idaho - Year After Year
It was a tough choice between the first Tindersticks (excellent but too long), the last Gun Club (extremely touching but a little too fusionish) and this album. Which nobody seems to know except those French guys from Libération, France Inter (Bernard, you are the one and only radio deejay) and Les Inrockuptibles who made me get it in early 1994. Probably the most criminally overlooked album by the Anglo-Saxon critics in my discotheque.
Idaho are a slowcore guitar band from LA. Not the sunny kind of music you would expect from California. Leaning more towards the David Lynch sort of weird unworldly atmosphere. Jeff Martin has got this kind of grave baritone voice which in my mind is the apotheosis of existential melancholy. An extremely masculine voice I always dreamt of having myself.
This is the album to which we have made love most to. 55 minutes full of relish. Inciting the most tender and attentive parts of me in the old ceremony. A slowly unfolding affair. Lugubrious and solemn but creating a precious warm and cosy enveloping atmosphere like few records. When Jeff Martin starts to sing I feel like having come home. An album I was always afraid of killing by listening too often to it. The restraint did pay off and the magic has been preserved till now. A perfect record without a dud. Music to slit your wrists to has never been so soothing. An album of an incredible consistency. It goes straight to my heart and body and soul.
Lusher than Mark Kozelek's Red House Painters. Sadder and darker than Low. Less self-pitying and pompous than Mark Eitzels's American Music Club. White man's blues. A bath in wistfulness. A quartet playing four string guitars. The often leading electric bass guitar is accompanied by fuzzy guitar textures underlining the atmosphere. They have all the time of the world. Gorgeous harmonies. I bought two more CDs by them but they were lame in the sense of more of the same stuff but much less compelling compared to their phantastic debut.
Please forgive me all the clichés in this review. Without clichés the world would be an even sadder place as it already is though...
this review is/was online at Close Your Eyes
and is available here for archival purposes only