Music Reviews

Renée Reed Renée Reed

(Keeled Scales) Rating - 8/10

Louisiana singer-songwriter Renée Reed has a fascinating backstory. Her families' Cajun influence runs deep—from a grandfather who played Zydeco to being the daughter of musician parents who run a one-stop-shop surrounded by Creole and Cajun icons. And yet, the first impression you get when listening to her debut LP is the abstract musings of contemporary folk artists like Jessica Pratt and Itasca. Swerving between eerie, cyclical fingerpicking (Fast One) and intricate chord changes (Neboj), Reed's quiet melancholia revolves like a haunting merry-go-round that stays etched in your memory. Even the droning yet persistent Où est la fée—which she sings in French—evokes a ghostly, carnivalesque atmosphere. There are hints of her lineage found on I Saw a Ghost, which brings forth a ringing guitar percussion similar to a Cajun waltz. And though she keeps it a little more bare as the album winds down, it doesn't lessen the impact of a fascinating body of work that's as magical as it is mysterious.