The Braille Night
With much of the material recorded at the same sessions that yielded their previous album, 2000’s impressive Will You Find Me, the songs comprising the follow-up, 2001’s The Braille Night, often feel like a gentle extension of that easeful, free-floating feeling that has become this New York City-based combo’s forte. Songs take on a life of their own, apart from traditional verse-chorus structures, and exist as slow, meditative exercises in contemplation. Any residual youthful angst from their earlier work cedes to a gentle acceptance of life’s unpredictable trajectory and the music attempts to replicate a natural beauty far removed from the industrial scrapings of the city. “Ignatia America” incites a vague dissonance in its ambient minimalism, but the gentle vocals that follow for “Arrowheads” ache for a pastoral retreat in the countryside. Ida members Elizabeth Mitchell and Daniel Littleton have since worked on children’s music, which should come as no surprise to anyone bewitched by the childlike wonder and optimism that’s so beautifully expressed in these austere tunes.