Reviews

IDER
Emotional Education

(Glassnote)

4/10

“I can’t stop looking in the mirror/ Do I really make that face?” opines the opening lyric to this debut album from North London duo IDER. It hints at the arrival of a scrapingly self-examinatory new auteur in pop music. Alas, the rest of ‘Emotional Education’ fails to deliver on any such promise.

Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville sing as the two splits of one voice, echoing and interlocking each other so tightly that they would be telling only half a story if somehow untangled. It is their most compelling trait; a polycephalous synergy that lends their songs a sense of shared origins.

Unfortunately, these eleven songs ultimately share far too much. They become difficult to separate even after repeated listens, a uniform voice of empowerment and millennial confession that is channelled through the same squeaky clean EDM sheen throughout. Tracks are arranged according to the tried-and-tested roadmap to mainstream airplay success and one or two may well make it to that destination, especially the earwormy ‘Busy Being a Rockstar’. It does, though, mean that the album comes across as too calculated and risk-averse, the production too unfussy and one-tracked, which in an age of FKA Twigs, Lorde or even Billie Eilish is a level of caution too great to overlook.

When tracks like ‘Invincible’ and ‘Brown Sugar’ descend into the dreaded “whoah-oh”s-of-doom, the desired lung-busting banger status is far out of reach; the hooks neither sharp nor sweet enough to make an impact, the listener’s imagination left with too much of a task to fill in the voids that IDER have left. 

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.