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Ider - Shame (Album Review)

Wednesday, 18 August 2021 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Georgia Strawson

On their second album Ider attempt to lose themselves amid crashing percussion and tangled synths, but they can’t quite escape the melodic grounding and pop instincts that made their debut so fulfilling. The result is ‘Shame’, a collection of songs that neatly balance old habits and a taste for new, exciting twists.

This is a record that was conjured both pre- and post-lockdown, with its early roots found in Berlin hedonism and its finessing in a self-produced (with a helping hand from Salka Valsdóttir) recording spree at the London flat shared by Ider’s two members, Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville.

There is a quiet confidence stitched throughout, bouncing from sharp couplets into rapid-fire harmonies that are dispensed with a sense of detachment. On songs such as the outstanding Knocked Up they feel tossed off and organic, but they’re clearly anything but. 

Obsessed, which follows immediately in its wake, trades off-kilter beats and pockets of space for a lacerating chorus that would have slotted neatly into All Saints’ imperial phase, while the vocoder intro to Midland's Guilt cloaks sentiments that will gouge beneath the veneer of anyone who’s ever left home. “I won't live to regret it but I'll probably wish I'd been at home to die,” Somerville intones.

There is a lot of smart pop music being made right now but Ider bring a sense of empathy and tangible stakes to the party—this is music made on their own time to suit their own needs. It just happens to be capable of crossing beyond those borders in thrilling style. ‘Shame’ is a second chapter that adds depth and resonance to their story.

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