Lia Ices review from Soundfix Record Store, Brooklyn NY

Lia Ices: Necima
Label: Rare Book Room

Best new artist of 2008? Very possible. Listening to the debut album from Lia Ices, courtesy of our local Rare Book Room Records, gave me a chilling, exciting feeling that I was not just listening to a good record but indeed the work of a rare and special talent. At the heart of Necime is Lia Ices and her amazing voice and piano. There is a warmth and tenderness to her singing, unusual in its depth and complexity. I’m sure many will compare her to Cat Power, and Ices does indeed possess a bit of Chan Marshall’s scratchy soulfulness, but there’s an aching vulnerability that’s all her own. And the arrangements! This is chamber pop of the highest order, with swirling strings and other acoustic instruments bringing a majesty to the songs. There’s not a bad track on the record, but my favorites are “Healed,” perhaps the most pop-friendly track on the record, the long and rich “Many Moons,” reminiscent of the best of Joni Mitchell’s early-70s work, and the uplifting finale, “You Will.” Ices is joined by some fine talent too, including David Muller of the Fiery Furnaces, Andy Macleod of White Magic and Robbie Lee of Love as Laughter. A haunting and lovely record, one of my favorites of the year. Highest recommendation! (James)