Redettes release debut LP “ED”
Article by August Smith
Sycamore Smith is one of the finest songwriters Upper Michigan has to offer, and if you haven’t delved into his sizable discography yet, I suggest you do so as soon as possible (don’t forget about his bridgehouse session!). Unfortunately, and much to Steve and I’s chagrin, Smith hasn’t released solo work in the past few years, and yet we clung fiercely to hope and .mp3’s as the kazoo-touting troubadour toured with three-piece folk-punk group Redettes for the past few seasons. I’m happy to say the man’s pen is still as sharp as ever, and the brash and noisy raucous the Redettes unravel around his verses propel and support them on each song.
Anthem-like opener “Jackie Oasis” is classic Sycamore: strong story-telling lyrics, endlessly charming vocal delivery, and a bit outlandish and perverted in content. The edge that bandmates Jesse Deek and Mutti Bullocks Rudy Foresburg give each song is a tightly coiled assault of garage-punk crash cymbals and punchy basslines. Three of the songs on ED are reimagined and reconfigured Sycamore songs (each in their own way a “classic”), taking what was once acoustic driven folk and stirring in a whole lot more kick. Sycamore’s voice has adjusted to the changes appropriately, at times replacing his usual smirking croon with a venomous yell. If he keeps writing songs like “Rang-A-Tang” with lyrics like “Let me be the darkness you get off in,” I’ll keep waiting patiently for more work from these classy musicians.