When I posted country-folky-bluesy-acousticy-person Idha‘s debut single a few days ago, I had a request in the comments from Mark (hi!) for her 1997 second album Troublemaker. So here it is.
There was a bit of a change in emphasis for this one, going “slick” rather than “homespun”. Where Melody Inn came across as a homage to California filtered through the perspective of a Swede living in the UK, Troublemaker drops the filter and, to me, is less interesting as a result.
Creation were obviously splashing the cash a bit (though not on a company-endangering My Bloody Valentine scale, obviously) and it sounds a bit over-produced compared to her debut, but it has its moments, particularly the brass-assisted single “Going Down South”.
Link: Idha – Troublemaker (password: salad)
Always Been With You
Going Down South
Sweet September Rain
Me And Johnny
Fields Of Avalon
Just Moved In
There was a weird moment in 1994 when country music was suddenly the in thing with London hipsters and everyone was gushing about how they’d always loved Gram Parsons, and during those six hours, Creation Records signed up a young Swedish singer by the name of Idha Ovelius, whose husband was Andy Bell, then of Creation signings Ride (and later of Oasis). Was it basically down to nepotism? One doesn’t like to say it, but, well… yeah. Still, it resulted in a couple of pleasant if ultimately inconsequential albums (Melody Inn, 1994, and Troublemaker, 1997) and a handful of actually quite decent singles.
Here’s the debut single, complete with its three non-album B-sides. The first three songs are originals (so “She” is not a tribute to either Sacha Distel or Elvis Costello), while “Coming Down” is a cover of a song by pyschedelic rockers United States Of America. Sometime Small Face, Face and Bloke, Ian McLagan provides keyboards on the first two tracks, and of course Andy Bell plays guitar.
Idha now works for a Stockholm architect’s practice (as a structural engineer, says Wikipedia) so thanks to her, a lot of flashy modern buildings in Southern Sweden won’t be falling down any time soon.