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Published on Mar 11, 2009
Ida is an American indie rock band from New York City. The group formed in Brooklyn in 1992 as the duo of Daniel Littleton and Elizabeth Mitchell. Later Karla Schickele and Michael Littleton (Daniel's brother, nicknamed "Miggy") joined the group. In 1999 Michael left the group to pursue other musical interests.
The group's folk-rock sound is gentle, melodic, and often sparse, with sensitive male-female harmonies provided by Mitchell and Daniel Littleton (who married in 1999). The group shares a stylistic affinity with the Minnesota band Low (whose singers are also a married couple), with which Ida has toured.
The band is named for Ida Machado Schafer, the grandmother of Mitchell's old friend, the artist and playwright Erin Courtney. Schafer was 92 years old at the time Mitchell and Littleton formed the group.
Ida's members are friends with the band Secret Stars, which features Karate guitarist Geoff Farina and Jodi Buonanno. On the Ida album Ten Small Paces, they cover a Secret Stars song titled Shoe-In and perform an original song Les Etoiles Secretes (French for "The Secret Stars") which references the band name specifically.
The current lineup includes Mitchell, Littleton, Schickele, drummer Ruth Keating, and violinist Jean Cook. They are also frequently joined by pedal steel player Matt Sutton.
Ida's new album, entitled Lovers Prayers, was released on January 29, 2008 on Polyvinyl Records.