The self-titled EP Rodetta by Rodetta is a very intriguing blend of ‘60s girl groups, mid ‘90s dream pop and early 2000s indie rock, all mixed together into a very clever collection.
“Spell” opens the EP with Phil Spector-ish girl group vocals and reverbed drums. The bass line fits into the ‘60s pop-soul vibe as well, though fuzzed out a la Quasi. There are some dream-pop elements peppered in as the vocal melody opens up into long haunting tones over warm organ swells. The blend of eras and genres is clever and tips its hat to both equally finding a way to straddle both while also showing the debt of one to the other.
“Diamonds of Your Youth” is based around a Carole King-ish piano line and a chime-y gallop evocative of The Mamas & Papas or some other LA studio group. Once the song opens up into the chorus, however some Aimee Mann vocal inflections peek out which add some nice grit to what’s going on. There are some rhythmic arguments between the drums and tambourine at times, though it fits into the elements of the style. The wash of the piano reverb into itself makes for an intriguing layer just below the surface of warm organ/chime-like tone.
“Cool Factor” is built around a drum sample that stands out quite a bit from the rest of the album. Though well programmed and sequenced, the song feels out of place next to its neighbors, even with the heavenly harmony vocals. There are some clever moments in the song, particularly in the trippy breakdown towards the middle and the getting back into the groove that follows. Still, it feels like it belongs on another collection of songs.
“Take Away” opens with large open organ chords and voices before moving into a surf beat and a Ronnettes vibe. The song is extremely catchy and the trumpet/glockenspiel solo is well placed and clever without being cheeky. There are also some subtle synth patches that enhance the acoustic nature of the rest of the instruments.
The EP closes with “Creatures,” a minor dirge dipped in rural blues mixed with surf-rock tone. Here, the sample fits in well with the other instruments (including the drums) tonally, though rhythmically it doesn’t always line up. The piano is interesting as well as the vocal harmonies, but the droning quality as well as some sloppy performances make it a curious closer to the collection.
Overall, there is a lot to like about Rodetta. The collective acknowledges and pays tribute to their influences in clever genre specific ways. The fusing of genres is clever and an overall eye on how all the pieces fit together might help the EP shine even brighter.
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