Last year the Long Blondes debut Someone To Drive You Home struck a chord with me. The UK has tons of dance-hall rock, but every year a new band seems to grab my attention and offer a slant on the sound. Someone was naive as it was seductive and I can’t help but feel the same way about Ida Maria’s Fortress Round My Heart. The album’s killer opener, “Oh My God,” just might contend for single of the year. The chorus and song title off “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” shows the band’s age, but also was their biggest hit in the UK. What really draws me to this album is her voice. Ida's professions cry, cringe, and wail without resignation, and Fortress is better for it.
I have to say something about the new Kaki King, Dreaming of Revenge. The album unfolds like a moonlit-walk-home that has put me to bed for a good part of the 08’. Revenge holds you in a daze, without Kaki letting her guitar skills break the mood. Tracks like “Sad America” and “Montreal” set the luminous scene, while album single, “Pull Me Out Alive” is an familiar break. Look for her on the road with John Darnielle, who has her slated to open for The Mountain Goats this fall.