In the old days, this would have been filed under acoustic singer-songwriter or “she’s a folky female, man! dig it!” depending on who you were hanging out with and what you may have been smoking. Now there’s this new aisle called New Folk and this is probably what Ivona would be tagged with in the 21st Century. But on closer inspection, the six songs on her debut EP sheheiyoumewe are quite a mixed - and impressive - bag.
‘Opiate’ is a subtle funk groove that has a meandering line ‘falling down, down, down’ that suits the theme. The second track ‘A Good Thing’ is one of the standouts here - starting out with a beautifully-picked acoustic guitar and lyrics about lies and insecurities and then the chorus comes jumping in with a fantastic backing percussion track of what sounds like handclaps and banjo. Ivona has a very distinctive vocal sound and you may have a hard time working out that she is singing ‘it’s a shame’ in the chorus. Therefore, there’s a little bit of Bjork going on in this track. ‘Borderline Affair’ is straight up acoustic folk, just guitar and vocals. Ivona goes all jazz with ‘All Your And Mine’ and it’s on this track you can hear the quality of her voice. Please note: sultry solo by Aaron Flower.
Ivona’s distinctive sound is probably due to the fact she was ’raised by wolves near Krakow, Poland’ and migrated to Australia as a youngster. Over the years she has learnt or studied the flute, dance and dramatic arts (even publishing poetry at thirteen) and spent the last four years developing her songwriting and vocal skills. After a stint in Melbourne Iona is now based in Sydney and her beautifully packaged (with lyrics and complimentary graphics) sheheiyoumewe EP is available through her myspace page. –ND