As 2022 portends significant upheaval in American culture, events are simulated through our various contemporary media feeds: the perpetual pandemia, rumors of civil war, economic inequality, escalating tribalism, ad nauseum. Somewhere at sometime there was a prophet claiming this is THE year, but who knows? Could this be the year? In May of 2022, a step towards this resolution comes in the shape of the debut album by Red Recluse. Perhaps it will hasten the apocalypse, perhaps stave it off?
Red Recluse began in 2021 when Joseph Graves, an army brat from Grissom Air Force Base, began writing songs in the wake of a covid spike. “One of my parental units was valedictorian of their class and graduated magna cum laude in college, so I was taught that boredom is a disease that best lies dormant,” Graves insists. After reconnecting with Matt Sommers, who grew up on an Atheist compound/rabbit farm not far from Graves in the hazy Midwestern rust belt, the pair set out with the idea of a conceptual creative endeavor that was spontaneous in nature, reflecting the people, places, and things that were passing by the portal at the time. With the pair serving as the hub, the intent was to intentionally shake up the chemistry by inviting various collaborators into the mix. Drawing on a wide-range of influences, musical and otherwise, Red Recluse wrote and recorded a couple of dozen new songs that would encapsulate the first Red Recluse album, sometimes referred to as the “White” album in light of the lack of album titles and other standard errata.
A field recording of sorts, the conceptual nature of the debut album from the Red Recluse gives the listener a glimpse into the idiosyncratic interpretation of events that have recently and collectively shaped most of our lives. Witchy instrumentals and guitar nuttery spill into swampy, pulsating nursery rhymes about Fauci-like characters, claustrophobia, girls in zen, toddlers, viral marches, and dope fiends. In the day and age of ADHD and sound bites, Red Recluse still believe in the album as a valid expression of intent, and this album sways, slides, bends, and arcs in all the right directions, while each song exists mutually exclusively within its own unique shape and form. “We never approach the songs as an ensemble while recording them, so we are unlimited in that regard. We can do whatever we want,” quips Graves, and Red Recluse thrives in that light, knowing that the recorded expression and live interpretation are two different opportunities.
Rumor has it that Red Recluse will be represented by a revolving cast of musicians on a variety of instruments at any given gig, and that – in true rock and roll spirit – audience participation and improvisation is not only encouraged, it’s expected. Whether or not Graves and Sommers themselves will be involved in the live setting is anyone’s guess. “The music is constructed to hold up, regardless of who is playing it. It’s the spontaneity that will make the gigs stand out in one’s memory,” concludes Sommers. Rumor also has it that local gigs will be rare occurrences, so keep your eyes under the radar because they are likely to be novel and peculiar events that you’ll be telling your grandkids about.
SOURCE: Official Bio
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