"Lovers Prayers" by Ida
Solid craftsmanship might sound like an attribute better suited to an SUV than an indie-rock disc, but glitz and gimmicks can only get you so far—and no band is better built for the long haul than Ida. Co-leaders (and couple) Daniel Littleton and Elizabeth Mitchell have chugged along in folk-pop humility since 1994's magnificent Tales Of Brave Ida; nine albums later, Lovers Prayers finds the duo still set in its ways, but having no trouble refreshing its formula. Propelled by fluidity and warmth, Lovers' 16 songs unfold and flutter delicately while holding swells of distortion and odd time signatures just at arm's length. Once bracketed neatly by the stark harmonies of Low and the dynamic anthems of Seam, Ida has become a gentle force unto itself—and Lovers Prayers hums with dependable, perpetual grace.