It’s not how you’re used to hearing her — Cadaverette frontwoman Reesa Wood has just released an EP titled Paranormal Romance under the moniker Draudiga. Screamer becomes crooner, singing in soft and gentle tones, but do not be fooled; this moonlit alter ego is no less the mystic. Draudiga comes across like an amplified, 21st century Joni Mitchell, singing delicately of tales which the test of time has failed to render irrelevant.
Paranormal Romance boasts a surprisingly broad dynamic considering the limited instrumentation — the songs are performed solely with guitar and voice. Sweepingly expansive leads sit atop a throne of arcane rhythm guitar lines. Unlike the solo releases of many artists outside the folk, Americana, singer-songwriter genres, Draudiga’s release does not add an unrealistic amount of “studio magic.” For those of you who have seen her perform, you will recognize that there is relatively little difference in the sound of her live solo performances in which she layers guitar parts through a looper and the production of this recording. The simple act of not overcrowding the material with any more instrumentation or effects gives the material a sense of intimacy rarely found in electric guitar-based music. It really allows the tenderness of the vocals to shine.
I hope that this is the signaling of a new wave of singer-songwriters, younger and shedding the vestiges of the last century’s traditions that have become overgrown with cliche. In recent years it has seemed that a yawning gap has developed between a limited few tropes of solo artists. The electronic wizard using all types of machinery to summon a phantom orchestra and the simple folksy kind who plays a singular instrument or plays and sings their stories with an acoustic guitar, seemingly untouched by technological advancements. I have nothing against these two archetypes or musicians who fit them, but it’s refreshing and strangely rare to hear a solo performer who doesn’t conform to them. In her performances and this new recording, Draudiga stakes a camp between them in a vast territory of possibilities.
Check out Paranormal Romance, out now on Bandcamp, and let us know what you think!