It's a great day to be a fan of Nordic-based act Redder. The electronic duo, known for their immaculate blend of folk and trip-hop additives, first caught our eye with their Border/Lines EP back in Aug 2013. Now, Redder is finally ready to present their debut album, Walk Long Play, which was released on Nov 28 via Finnish label Cocoa Music.
Proving both electronic and experimental, the album runs nine tracks in length, starting out strong with "Sold A Boy A Picture". The song is an instrumental that masterfully captures a mood of devastation through dark piano, melodic guitar and 808 drums, readying our ears for what's to come.
"Fifteen More Minutes" (said to be Redder's unique take on smoky 50's American bar music), "Kolumba Museum", and "Vivier", all emphasize Frans Saraste's distinctive falsetto, and rightly so. "Vivier" in particular was inspired by French-Canadian composer Claude Vivier, whose tragic life history (having been murdered in Paris) left behind a legacy of countless compositions that spoke to Redder.
From there emerges Walk Long Play's single "Let Us Get Out", which is the ultimate album favourite. Vocally, Saraste evokes tones of the likes of alt-J and Rhye, while sonically the track takes its time to breathe in all of its spaciousness. "Let Us Get Out" is a compelling example of the duo's willingness to explore new dimensions of musical possibility, and is followed up by "Was It Easy" and "Recall", who both prove just as spacious and nod to Redder's roots in desolate Nordic landscape.
When it comes down to it, Redder just really aren't afraid of being gloomy, and its easy to think of Walk Long Play as a whole in this way. The album in full exists as an honest instance of the twosome's experience of living in Finland's bleakness, where the nine tracks are just as raw, stripped back, and tender. Pursuing dark themes of lost identities and retrospection (as seen with "Vivier"), Saraste explains how both he and Vesa Hoikka really tried to "capture the Finnish gloominess," where in reality "that's something that a lot of Finns try to get away from."
Instead, Redder has "attempted to face it head on and take inspiration from it." Walk Long Play is all about this exact depth, exploring soundscapes that contextualize themes of challenge and catharsis, while also making you both listen and think intently about the world around you. That duality of meaning is exactly why Redder deserves to chisel out their very own niche in music, and I think they're well on their way.