Home Read Albums Of The Week: Ida Mae | Click Click Domino

Albums Of The Week: Ida Mae | Click Click Domino

The married British duo continue their romance with American roots music.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For nearly two straight years following the release of their critically acclaimed debut, Chasing Lights, Ida Mae — the Nashville-via-London duo of Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean — lived on the road, crisscrossing the U.S. from coast to coast as they performed hundreds of dates with everyone from Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss to Marcus King and Greta Van Fleet. While those shows were electrifying for the duo, it was what happened in between — the countless hours spent driving through small towns and big cities, past sprawling suburbs and forgotten ghost towns, across deserts and mountains and forests and prairies — that truly laid the creative groundwork for their sophomore album Click Click Domino.

Written primarily in the backseat of a moving car, Click Click Domino embodies all the momentum and possibility of the great American unknown, offering up a series of cinematic vignettes full of hope and disappointment, promise and regret, connection and loneliness. The songs here are raw and direct, fueled by an innovative mix of vintage instruments and modern electronics, and the performances are loose and exhilarating to match, drawing on early rock ’n’ roll, classic country, British folk, and ’50s soul to forge a sound that’s equal parts Alan Lomax field recording and 21st-century garage band.

When it came time to record, the band planned on working once again with legendary producer Ethan Johns (Ray LaMontagne, Laura Marling, Kings of Leon), who’d helmed Chasing Lights back in England. With COVID-19 taking international travel off the table, though, Turpin and Jean decided to go ahead and make the record themselves, leaning on everything they’d learned working with Johns and other top shelf producers over the years like T Bone Burnett (Elvis Costello, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss), M. Ward, Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Brandi Carlile), Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes) and Mike Crossey (The 1975, Arctic Monkeys). Working out of their house in Nashville, they set up a series of bare bones recording stations and began cutting tracks together in one or two take performances, balancing the spontaneity of the moment with the energy and intuition of the live show they’d spent the past few years perfecting

Filled with thunderous production, killer riffs, and an insatiable rhythm throughout, the title cut is among their most raucous tracks to date. “This was written kind of as a knee jerk song. The unfiltered noise of social media, concerns surrounding social engineering, the lack of emotional connection and physical disconnection gets to all of us,” Turpin says. “We all know how easy it is to falsify an image, be it in fashion / politics / or any aspect of your everyday and in a lot of people’s lives it has become a necessity to play into it. I wanted to write the lyrics to Click Click Domino almost as Twitter statements, counting characters, making a short sharp stream of consciousness commentary.

“The riff was originally inspired by the playing of one of our favourite guitar players, Pops Staples, and it slowly morphed into something that in my mind almost echoed moments of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. It kicked up a gear when Marcus King came over and we stood side by side, soloing call and response guitar lines over the outro. The attitude of his playing was perfect.”