Another essential out of the Feeding Tube camp, this reissue puts The Ididarod’s fourth album, the Ghost, the Elf, the Cat and the Angel, in its rightful place on vinyl for the first time. If you’re unfamiliar with the band that’s probably an excusable fact. The Providence duo were a bit ahead of the curve as far as the aughts folk revival and subsequent embrace of Psych-Folk/ New Weird America in the press, but this record should sit on a shelf next to any copies of Fern Knight, Espers, Six Organs, and Skygreen Leopards you have haunting your collection. With Jeffrey Alexander (Dire Wolves, Black Forest/Black Sea) and Carin Wagner at the core, this album found the pair refining their psychedelic folk into an icy ache that recalled darker visions of UK traditional fare like Pentangle and Fairport Convention. Though the band would dive to much further depths than either of those, as exemplified by the tidal breath tension of “Cycle Circle.”
In their tenure the band would make the rounds through many of the new folk hubs — Time-Lag, Morc Records, Elsie & Jack, but this one originally found its way out from the discordant stable at Blue Sanct. Marked by exceptional instrumentation — spanning bouzouki, dulcimer, and Glockenspiel provided by friends Fit & Limo, to singing bowls, bowed saw, wine glasses, synths, banjo, and viola — the record is a shining example of the folk that burned at the edges of the aughts before tipping into prominence. For those that may have missed this since its first bow in 2002, this issue provides a perfect chance to embrace the band’s firelight charms.
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