RENEE REED – ” Renee Reed “

Posted: October 17, 2021 in MUSIC

Renee Reed from Lafayette, Louisiana, is a musician who possesses a special gift, one that I have always loved in any musician, the ability to make complex ideas seem beautifully simple. The evidence is there to hear on her stunning, self-titled debut album, released last month on the wonderful label Keeled Scales. Across the twelve songs she describes modestly as, “dream-fi folk from the Cajun prairies”, Renée chronicles a three year period, full of making sense of the world and her place in it.

The resultant record has a timelessness to it, songs carved from the ancestral coal face, weaving together the seemingly disparate strands of the Cajun and Creole music scene in which she grew up surrounded by at her parents shop-come-music-venue at the owned by her parents Lisa Trahan and Mitch Reed; and her own musical discoveries, seeming to pick out sounds from minimal folk to French Chanson. Renée Reed grew up on the accordion-bending knee of her band-leading grandfather Harry Trahan; in the middle of countless jam sessions, soaked in the storytelling of her great uncle, folklorist Revon Reed and his infamous brothers from Mamou; and surrounded by a litany of Cajun and Creole music legends, both backstage at the many festivals of Southwest Louisiana and on the porch of her family home.

While Renée’s music is certainly informed by these deep roots, her dark dreamlike folk has more in common with contemporaries like Cate Le Bon and Jessica Pratt. It’s also not unlike the intangible magic contained in Mazzy Star’s songs.

For the most part this record is just Renée and her acoustic guitar, yet it has a depth of character to it, whether it’s the dreamy musical textures she rings from six-strings, or her voice, that seems almost to say one thing, while hinting at much more. It’s a voice that seems to carry a story alongside the lyricism; in the almost dismissive hint to the delivery of Your Seventh Moon, or the exquisite and undeniably sad tones of “Fool to the Fire“, as she laments, “all your love that you never really gave”.

Throughout the record, there’s a certain dream-like quality, it allows space for your mind to wander, before pulling you back with an arresting tone or a lyric that hits like an arrow and demands you come back into a more conscious, attentive state. Take the wonderfully hypnotic Little Flower Dance, it flows in on a gorgeous, bright-guitar line, a gentle lilting piece, that suddenly takes a dark turn that catches your ear entirely off-guard, “feeling kind of bruised, feeling black and blue inside”, or when Fast One’s driving guitar-tone is cut through by the dancing melody, “with you darling, I could live a lie”. It’s these moments that are littered throughout the album, these little drips of trouble in the serene surroundings, the moments of vulnerability and humanity that make this album so much more than just a truly beautiful listen.

Today Renée Reed is sharing an exclusive live version of one of the record’s stand-out moments, “Neboj” by Renée Reed (recorded live) From her self-titled record coming March 26th, 2021

Renée Reed’s debut album is out now via Keeled Scales Records. 

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