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Grown Unknown

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 25, 2011
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$15.79 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Lia Ices' emotionally driven and experimental pop music is both avant-garde and timeless. A natural yet refined grace permeates her work. Ices' voice floats and flutters around you, like the leaves from trees on a fleeting fall day, and the instrumentation matches that subtle dynamism. Grown Unknown is a walk in the park on a day of carnival, the most beautiful day so far this year. Appearing as a guest vocalist for "Daphne," the only duet on the album, is Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • ASIN: B004DK49I2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,347 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Probably part of some arts scene in some arts city somewhere in the U.S., singer/songwriter Lia Ices' webpage is stocked with great pieces of unique work. Songs, videos, photographs, artwork - you name it. At first, for me, the draw was Dylan Eastgaard's tasteful video for an older Ices track called "You Will." The subtle winter-friendly style of the video and song sucked me in, demanding that I look closer at this very feminine songwriter who, if I'm being honest, makes a kind of music that I very rarely listen to. Next came the video for "Half Life," directed by Simone Montemurno and Joana Bovay and also not included on Ices' latest release, Grown Unknown. Damn good. Great, even. I had to look even closer.

Ices, a striking artist who looks like a mix between a young Alanis Morissette and Joanna Newsom and sings a bit like a more delicate version of Basia Bulat, released Necima recently before signing with Jagjaguwar, who are just now releasing her first internationally distributed record, the above mentioned Grown Unknown. The initial word that came to mind while first working my way through the record's nine-song, 38-minute playlist is elegant, Ices coming off like a new age Joni Mitchell. A new age Joni, that is, if Joni floated on clouds and never befriended a slew of jazz players. Best described as an avant garde pop singer with a sultry, silencing croon, Ices (who is actually part of the forever booming Brooklyn arts scene) makes the kind of puzzle piece girl pop that fans of Kate Bush, Tiny Vipers and Tori Amos - and even more accessible artists like Feist and Bulat - should flip for.
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Format: Audio CD
While listening to Lia Ices for the first time, much time is spent trying to draw a worthy and fitting comparison. Several float around, such as Florence and the Machine, Bat for Lashes, Enya, and even parts of Rasputina and Sandy Denny. However, it is during the second listen that one will give up trying to compare Ices to anyone else, because she really is a sound all on her own- and that is refreshing. That is what draws the listener most of all.

Grown Unknown is a phenomenal debut album. It is full of dream-like fragility, which is countered with confident strength. Ices is not afraid to be different and avante-garde, both of which pay off in the end, because it is clear she knows who she is and where she is going artistically. Her vocals float through the notes, weaving a story all their own, leaving the sparse, yet full, instrumentation to be a perfect complement.

Each song delivers another chapter to the story that creates the album. There are no songs that are likely to be heard on the radio, but one could expect to hear them as a part of a soundtrack, as they lend an unobtrusive, yet emotionally-stirring, sound. 'Love is Won' is the kind of song one would listen to when its sunny and warm outside, but nothing seems to be going right. 'Lilac' and 'Daphne' give an almost Brit-folk vibe to an otherwise melancholy sound.

Lia Ices gives us a taste of what she is capable of on her debut album Grown Unknown. It is clear she does not want to blend in and she knows what she wants to produce musically, and stands behind it. Ices really does take us into the unknown- and it will easily grow into a comforting familiarity.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Grown Unknown seems quite fitting as a title. As others have noted, Lia is suffering from the blessing/curse that burgeoning unknown talents often do. Her sound is too unique to be compared succinctly. Its much easier to make a modest living in the music world copying someone else's sound, but blazing your own trail can be an unheralded task. I hope she keeps at it, because I have no doubt there her audience will continue to grow with her.

Doubly so, I found that this album grew on me in such an inconspicuous way that I only recently realized how frequently I was playing it - much more so than other highly anticipated, highly regarded albums which I absorbed and moved on from. Not Grown Unknown. With every listen the music (and Lia's lovely voice) appears even richer and more nuanced.

Again, I think this a blessing and a curse. The first listen, I enjoyed what I heard but was not immediately enthralled. Great music often takes many listens to really bloom, so I'm glad I gave this one time and I hope others do as well. Give this one a chance. You won't regret it.
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Format: Audio CD
Now I do count myself amongst musical snobbery with the acceptance that not everyone likes the same music. That being said, Lia's vocals brought me to tears. I instantly fell in love with her sound.

Her voice commands attention and deserves high praise in the day of manufactured sound based entertainment that dominates popular culture.

This is what music should be. I don't mean the style, I mean the emotion and evocation that artists like Lia demand from the listener. This isn't a series of singles or chart toppers, its an experience and a gift from someone who loved what they were doing.
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