In a sharp departure from last few reviews, of high pressure singles and albums, we drop down to the lush sounds of Ida Wenøe. Part gypsy, part folk, fluidic and calm, or calm if it weren’t so heart breaking. With a sadness etched into each line and each verse, there’s a feeling of warmth and reflection. And while this could come heavy or too tough to wade through, it’s light and it’s gentle and open.
It’s impossible not to connect to a voice that sings out so plain and so clear, words flow and spiral with a freedom and ease that cuts against content and meaning. Behind them, a soft mix of plucked strings and keys spin a weave of clean intimate sounds; they can swell, they can build, lean on drums and fall back, they produce the song’s smooth sense of movement.
At times there’s almost nothing beneath Ida’s voice as she keeps the song flowing, at others she steps back and lets the song grow with a flourish or ripple of texture. In verses that are mainly kept empty, lines hang like they’re caught in mid-flight, “Been a funny time this year / And I’m waiting for it to be clear / We’re not heading anywhere / And the room where we used to meet / Is empty, death”. If these lines weren’t so honeyed and sweetly delivered, I’d be handing out tissues to listeners.
As the track shifts its rhythms and changes its phrasing, we get caught in its hushed drag and pull. And in response to these shifts and the spaces between, we attach our own flashbacks and meanings. “How I long to be a child / When the landscape was larger” both invites and invokes, and breeds willing… a will to connect with yourself and the song, and that’s where this track’s at its strongest.
‘One Step‘ plays to its self and plays to you, Ida’s invite is tough to turn down.