This article was first published on Louder Than War on 2 December 2012.


Ides is the solo project of wonderfully delicate sadcore tunes by Joanna Gruesome member (and former Evans the Death bassist) Alanna McArdle.

Sometimes you hear a song so delicate you want to wrap it in cotton wool, place it in a bubble-wrap lined box and then store it very carefully in a hidden place just so it can’t be broken or worn away by repeated listens. Ides has a few of those songs.

The solo project of Joanna Gruesome singer and former Evans the Death bassist Alanna McArdle Ides is a growing collection of introspective but insistent songs.

They may be delicate with edgy but barely there melodies but they’re also raw in tone and sometimes canny, sometimes caustic lyric. It’s a wonderful and intriguing combination.

Vocally this is Florence Welch on valium, a floating-in-space dreamlike voice with a catch and plenty of echo. The songs available on Soundcloud at the moment make a short but gorgeous collection of lo-fi sadcore magnificence.

The songwriting prowess as much as the sound deserves attention here. Those simple but incisive lyrics allow Ides to bring a wry smile to the lips on every listen; evoking memories of less-than-perfect but full of love relationships, the wind in your bones as you stand on the seafront in winter, a churning effervescence of emotions suddenly winning against a void of feeling.

But is this a side project which could gain centre stage? I’d hope it can at least match her other musical commitments. The whole movement at which all her bands have been a part of seem creatively prolific so I have no fear Ides won’t get the attention it deserves.

For with all the glorious noise of Joanna Gruesome Ides is the perfect example of beauty in sadness, in simplicity, and of perfection in impurity.

All words by Sarah Lay.

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