TRACK: Renée Reed – ‘Fast One’: potent, dreamlike alt.folk from Louisiana

Renee Reed, photographed by LeaAnn B Stephan

HAILING from Lafayette, Louisiana, Renée Reed has signed for Austin label Keeled Scales and released a single, the impressionistic, delightfully dreamy alt.folk of “Fast One”. Listen below.

It’s a many-faceted thing for something as apparently simple as a one-woman-with-guitar folk tune; it has, by turns, a sleepy blurriness, a pillowside intimacy, the sort of mantric guitar approach you might find elsewhere in a Tim Buckley or a Ryley Walker. It’s homespun and simple, but still has the feeling of an odyssey. You sense it’ll be rapturous live (sssh, gigs will happen again).

She released a couple of songs last year, just to lay to rest any lingering doubts – this ain’t no flash in the pan. Both possess that bright, ringing guitar tone I think we’ll likely come to regard as a trademark: the arpeggiating mystery of “Out Loud” and the slower, honeyed bluegrass of “Until Tomorrow”, so timeless it might have been unearthed on a 78 in some thrift store down South. 

There’s bite in there too, though, as Renée’s summates “Fast One” and her forthcoming album, which is out at the end of March: “[It’s] full of anger over the shallow, shitty behavior of certain acquaintances I’ve had over the last few years, people who assume they know more about me than I do. But I leave things open to change and growth.

“The album is a collection of songs about toxic relationships, seeing ghosts, ancestral baggage and blessings, and daydreaming about love. It is about certain feelings and experiences I’ve had over my life coming to fruition in the past three years.

“It was all made on a four-track recorder at home, in a place and in a way I feel most natural, and I believe that quality comes through in the sound.” 

She’s right there. It’s vibrant, mysterious, alive, and it also sounds like you wouldn’t wish to mess, should she slay you with a tune that cuts to the marrow while also being an astonishing song.

As we’ll discover on her album, her Cajun roots led her through Sixties’ folk to Serge Gainsbourg, Françoise Hardy, and yé-yé, all of which inform the very fine artist the handful of tunes she’s shared so far show us she is. Very much more, I’d say, than just another glimmering starlet on the block.

Renée describes her music as dream-fi folk from the Cajun prairies, and her debut album as “a whole document of me coming to terms with myself and embracing who I am without reserve.” 

Renée Reed’s self-titled debut album will be released by Keeled Scales on digital, cassette, CD and LP on March 26th; it’s already available for pre-order here.

Follow Renée on Instagram, at her official website and on Bandcamp.

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