Great Aunt Ida "How They Fly"

The brainchild of Ida Nilsen (Buttless Chaps), Great Aunt Ida sounds gorgeous on this well-constructed full-length. The obvious influence is Julie Doiron, though Nilsen’s songs are all invested with more hopeful instrumentation and she is often more playful in her wordplay. With its subtle horns and strings, "Little Voice” is just plain lovely. The combination of co-producer Tim Vesely’s back-up vocals and Nilsen’s fun phrasing make "We Say No” an imaginative piece of pop. Like many of the songs here, "Stranger” evokes cinematic imagery, as the atmospheric music gels perfectly with Nilsen’s bold, delicate voice. On the surface, "Extra Hours” is upbeat and poppy but the forlorn lead vocal gracefully tempers the mood. How ever compelling, Nilsen’s voice occasionally comes across as endearingly monotonous, a comforting, reliable noise guiding similarly droning music on songs like "Don’t Start” and "Accident.” Recalling the gentler aspects of Yo La Tengo, Great Aunt Ida lulls you into loving her with "How They Fly.” (Northern Electric)