Ida Mae – Chasing Lights (Thirty Tigers)
Sonny and Cher. John and Yoko. Tina and Ike Turner. Jay-Z and Beyoncé. There are myriad examples of husband-and-wife duos capable of channelling raw physical attraction and a meeting of minds towards a memorable musical triumph. Now it’s time to add Ida Mae – or rather Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean – to the mix.
It’s remarkable to think that the alt-folk and Delta blues running right through the heart of Chasing Lights is a by-product of the now defunct Kill It Kid. That much missed band’s angsty growl is utterly at odds with Ida Mae’s more mellow moments and yet both acts share a common authenticity and trade on familiar, biting reality.
If You Don’t Love Me is a sparkling case in point. Chasing Lights’ evocative lead single trades on an almost instinctive fusion of Jean’s trademark vocals and Turpin’s carefully crafted melodies and it’s on songs like this that the emotional – as well as the creative – bond shines through. Where unrelated male/female duos may fear to tread, Ida Mae’s captivating couple bare their souls with unswerving confidence.
Likely to appeal to the thriving folk, country and Americana markets, Chasing Lights is a shining example of boundary-stretching songwriting at its challenging best. Producer Ethan Johns has worked with both Ray LaMontagne and Laura Marling and it’s little wonder Turpin and Jean gravitated to an individual with an ear for minimalist power.
The poetic My Girl Is A Heartbreak and the soaring Higher Than Light prove Ida Mae are the polar opposite of one trick ponies. Think swaggering thoroughbreds and you get the picture.