Southern Dream (pre-release), review by Jonathon Kardasz
Rebecca Riedtmann has released a collection of four tunes that are billed as demos but sound absolutely fully formed in their released state. The tunes are beautifully realised and the sound is stark, clean and yet warm – the songs stripped back melancholic Americana. Riedtmann’s voice takes the lead and she provides her own backing vocals too; a restrained yet powerful performance with her understated accompaniment. These tunes are quite rightly all about her voice.
Lead track Rust & Flames is an instant keeper, a lovely warm sound with a lilting tempo and a kick in the teeth for opening lines, such a pretty song and yet “They pulled you out the Mississippi when you were twenty five, bruised and battered and broken inside”. Her keening vocals are perfectly suited to a song of yearning and loss, with lyrics that can hold a different meaning for each listener.
Take to the Road is a song of longing and escape with a desire for a new start. Both tunes reveal Riedtmann’s keen ear for a phrase, narrative tunes that pull the listener in to the world of the singer and yet leave the listener able to make their own interpretation of the meaning of the song.
Third tune Hold Tight is a little more forthright, relationship advice in a charming setting.
Southern Dream has a rich warm acoustic sound, with evocative lyrics (“Sweet whisky and iced tea” instantly takes you to a warm evening south of the Mason Dixon line) and the song feels like the mission statement for the set; a little more instrumentation allowed to take a lead with well thought out pauses in the verses.
This is a dream like collection of tunes, prettily Gothic (in the Southern / Americana sense rather than that favoured by callow youths in black) and suggests a burgeoning talent. They are strong tunes too, songs that you would love to hear live in an intimate setting, but equally pique your curiosity as to how they’d grow in a band performance.