Upon first listen, the album Ominous Harminus reads as a valiant debut effort from a trio of sound-makers: a drum-kit banging out up-tempo poly-rhythms, an electric guitar setting the tone with easy yet catchy melodies, and a vocalist driving the energy forward with a combination of chanting and singing.
Only this album did not come with just three instrumentalists. Meet Idgy Dean, a “one-woman psychedelic rock band with DIY beats and reveries built from the bottom up.” Her songs are all looped live on stage with a loop pedal, modified drum kit composed of just snare, tom, and cymbal and an electric guitar.
Her debut album Ominous Harminus is layered meticulously with every detail mapped and planned ranging from the vowel of her chant to the number of 1/16 beats in a measure. There is a mathematical quality to her instrumentals, not unlike some of my other favorite one-woman acts tUnE-yArDs and Julianna Barwick. She also has a rhythmic bounciness to her vocal melodies evocative of a Sylvan Esso, CHVRCHES, or even Purity Ring tone.
Tracks like “The Indian Squirrel Dance” and “Hopscotch” stand out from the rest of the pack as true indie-dance ballads while the rest function more as atmospheric soundscapes. However, as each listen exposes sounds that had previously gone unheard, the album begins to grow more refined with age.
While Dean’s debut is not quite as adventurous into the realm of electronica as loop-heavy masterpieces like tUnE-yArDs’ Whokill or Sylvan Esso’s self titled debut, the creativity in her videos and the skill seen in her live footage shows the potential she has to harness this talent and develop her songwriting ability to evolve into the next big solo/band hybrid artist out there.
You can catch Idgy Dean live at CMJ TOMORROW (THURSDAY) at our Atypical Beasts Agency Showcase at Piano’s!