Reditus - 'Persona'

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this afternoon’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we’re going to be delving deep into the music of Reditus, a rising band hailing from Chicago. Their latest work dropped last week, an eight song EP entitled ‘Persona.’ The band’s eclectic style has resulted in some modest critical positivity as of late, including a review that pinned them as the “lovechild of the Black Keys, Spoon, and Nine Inch Nails.” Thus, their sound is boasted as a rather unique one. How does is stack up against the rest of the indie community? Let’s check it out.

Reditus describes themselves as alternative, experimental, and indie rock. They certainly lean toward the latter two, especially with some experimentalist themes. The sound is very sharply produced and performed, making a ‘Persona’ a rather compelling ride throughout. You’re introduced to this excellent production quality on ‘Automne Le Frere,’ the opening tune. Listeners will also notice that the band doesn’t forgo accessibility or catchiness in their pursuit of experimental themes. More often than not, that’s the case. In the case of Reditus, I found their riffing and choruses infectiously fun, a fantastic romp through indie rock with pop sensibility.

‘For A New Way’ opens up into a cataclysmic, atmospheric track. Soaked heavy in reverb, the lead vocals and bass shine as they bounce off each other. Though not as accessible as the opening, I’d argue that ‘For A New Way’ has a dramatic amount of depth in comparison, at least, instrumentally. Oddly enough, however, ‘Myopia’ continues that trend, surpassing the pastures of ‘For A New Way’ in peculiar elegance.

The classical influence of ‘Myopia’ combined with dark themes is masterful and intensely creative, perhaps crafting the finest soundscape of the eight. Again, there’s some pop sensibility scattered throughout, but at its heart, ‘Myopia’ is an ambient, dark, classical number with roots in experimental styles. Instrumentally, I’d actually align it with something like Lou Reed’s late-life masterpiece, ‘Ecstasy.’

‘The Session’ sounds like a track straight out of the 1980s. (The good part of the 1980s. Think the Talking Heads’ ‘Stop Making Sense,’ not ‘Slippery When Wet.’) The song walks an interesting line because it’s not inherently accessible, it’s a bit more of an electronic-tinged, droning landscape. With that said, that landscape is fairly lighthearted and relatively brief. I was actually quite surprised to see the song was just over three minutes. Typically, this style means long, drawn out sections of instrumentation. Thus, Reditus walks that line well, even blurring it as it melds both of the ideas together.

‘Tiny Relics’ crosses the line that ‘The Session’ toys with. It does so, however, to significant success. The meandering, provocative instrumental sounds like something off the cutting room floor of a Thom Yorke record. Actually, it really does sound like his last record, ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.’ Instrumental tracks have to balance softly between pretension and excess. Throughout its nearly six minute runtime, though, I never found myself wanting to skip ‘Tiny Relics.’ It’s one of the better indie instrumentals I’ve heard all year.

The closing of the album, ‘The Wicked Ones,’ is absolutely stunning. This track has a wonderful sense of finality to it, ending the album perfectly. More so, it’s performed, sung, and mixed in such a fitting fashion. The song is near cinematic in nature, truly combining the best elements of the band’s performance style.

The six songs in the release are quite good. They’re wholly original, very enjoyable, and well worth your time. Those six tunes reach a standard far higher than that of most independent music. It’s a creative endeavor with some new ideas, which is a high compliment amidst a community that tends to recycle themes.

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