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Renée Reed - Renée Reed Music Album Reviews

Renée Reed - Renée Reed Music Album Reviews
Steeped in Acadian musical heritage, the Louisiana songwriter’s sketchy four-track recordings and odd, dreamy storytelling evoke the likes of Jessica Pratt or Elliott Smith.

Renée Reed grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana, the daughter of Cajun one-stop shop owners who hosted regular jam sessions. Music and folklore surrounded her: Her great-uncle, Revon J. Reed, was a sort of Cajun Alan Lomax, a folklorist who recorded the traditional songs that make up the region’s cultural history. Her grandfather was Harry Trahan, a local accordion legend who wheezed out zydeco at neighborhood events for nearly his entire life. Her family has ties to Mamou, a small rice farming town about three hours west of New Orleans, where residents celebrate an annual ritual called Courir de Mardi Gras, in which the men of the town dress up in colorful rags and pointed caps and ride horses from house to house, chasing chickens and collecting ingredients for gumbo.

A lot of this history swirls through Reed’s self-titled debut, but not in obvious ways. She’s described her music as “dream-fi folk from Cajun prairies,” citing Kate Bush and the Beatles as “my gods that I worship.” Her songs—recorded simply on four-track, performed mostly on acoustic guitar, with some light organ as occasional embellishment—recall Jessica Pratt’s first album, or Either/Or-era Elliott Smith, more than traditional Cajun music. And yet her heritage peeks through, sometimes in sneaky ways: Queue up the single release of opener “Out Loud,” for instance, and you’ll find a photo of someone, likely Reed, sporting the traditional garb for Courir de Mardi Gras, looking like some kind of Midsommar Muppet.

Reed’s music is full of dreamy, odd notes, and a sense of unreality shimmers around her songs. On “Où est la fée,” she sings, in French, a dark fable in which she wanders into the woods and finds a letter addressed to her. She plays straightforward, rough-hewn fingerpicking melodies with the skill and sensitivity of someone capable of playing anything, and she sings with abstracted intensity, like she’s staring out a car window. Her words extend until they dissolve into pure sound, and everything she sings has a riddling, Cheshire-Cat quality: “Who am I?/You’re about to find out,” she offers on “Out Loud,” but the moment of discovery never arrives.

The closest Reed comes to revealing herself is on the final track, “Drunken Widow’s Waltz.” It’s in French again, but this time, it’s the Cajun variety, the language of her grandparents and of kitchen jam sessions and front-porch family concerts. The drum track ticks out an unsteady waltz time, the guitar oom-pahs, a fiddle scratches, and Reed opens up her throat. She sounds joyful and uninhibited, lost in the pure pleasure of her singing, now that she’s certain no outsider can understand.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Renée Reed - Renée Reed Music Album Reviews Renée Reed - Renée Reed Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, April 09, 2021 Rating: 5

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