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Ida Wenoe Ida Wenoe
Album: Time Of Ghosts
Label: Songcrafter
Tracks: 11

Cold Winter, April Moon, Ghosts, Changing Seasons….Ida Wenoe (pronounced EE-da-ven-O) has sculptured and nurtured an album that envelopes a multitude of sounds, influences, feelings, ideas to form a cohesive whole that feels almost concept-like in it's inception. "Time Of Ghosts" is organic to the core, both in terms of song structure and execution, and as such it's an album that draws the listener in as a crucial part of the experience.

And at times it can be a pretty sparse but ultimately rewarding experience. Take, for instance, the dreamy acoustic Nordic stomp of "How Cold The Winter". Lullaby-like in it's composition, it's a tune that turns on it's choral axis to weave imaginary soundscapes that somehow defies the listener not to succumb to it's melodic yet slightly off-kilter grace.

So while there may be tacit whispers of Americana and even alt-folk (whatever that is!) playing around the edges of songs such as "Lyla", which delights with it's dual vocal whimsy, this debut solo album is most definitely Ida Wenoe spreading her musical wings and establishing a style that at once is uniquely native to her, yet equally accessible to a wider listening public.

Opener "Changing Of The Seasons" is allegorically prophetic, and heart warmingly welcoming. There's a crystallised transparency that courses elegantly throughout the song, a thrum that nags at the margins of the aural senses and becomes all-encompassing. And that sensation of being as one with the music is obvious in it's intention. It isn't just an illusion. There is a surety and inclusiveness that shines brightly, and that is expressed pointedly, yet sympathetically with title track "Time Of Ghosts". An encouragement to look within so that you can see what is without. Ida is indeed "strumming on a silver cloud", and the song reflects the soon-to-be-realised hope with perfectly synched harmonics assimilating comfortably with mandolin, brass and big, big voices.

As a complete debut work, "Time Of Ghosts" is an astonishing achievement. There is ebb, there is flow. There is serenity, there is climactic sonance. This is the world of Ida Wenoe, and it's a world where culture, music, imagination and influence collide. What happens is a magic borne of latent talent, and a willingness to explore the musical recesses that are often left untouched and unexplored by less inventive songwriters. There are those that follow and then there are those that lead. Ida Wenoe is firmly in the latter category, and "Time Of Ghosts" is a stunning attestation to that fact.

Ken Brown