Saturday, October 5, 2013

Rodina: “Home EP” (2013) Review

The Home EP is a four-song disc containing tracks from Rodina’s upcoming full-length release, Home. This disc served as my introduction to the band, and based on these four tracks, I am pretty excited to hear the full album. I am also curious as to what they’re like in concert, because of the different styles and approaches they take in just these four tracks, freely combining jazz and pop in ways that are completely delightful and effective. These are original and interesting songs, each quite a bit different from the others. Rodina is a duo based in Leeds. Aoife Hearty is the vocalist and songwriter; Joe Tatton is the pianist and producer. The disc features several other musicians.

“Mr. Lee”

This EP opens with “Mr. Lee,” which features a great mix of jazz and dance music with a Latin rhythm and disco vocals. Seriously. And yes, it’s as wonderful as you’re imagining. In addition, there are some great moments on horn, as well as some nice touches on piano and bass. “If you think it’s over now, get back up, get back up.”

“I Got Lost”

“I Got Lost” has a cool, slow, hypnotic vibe and rhythm with some sweet vocals. This is a gorgeous song. It highlights Aoife Hearty’s vocals, which have just the right amount of breathiness for this material. I particularly like the “doo-doo, doo-doo” section. It’s playful, yet beautiful, and totally cool. There is also a really nice section on keys toward the end.

“What Is It About Today?”

“What Is It About Today?” is a really fun, groovy track. There is something of a New Orleans vibe to the beat. Of course it’s the horn section that really excites me. I love the instrumental section. There are also some upbeat lyrics, like these lines: “Everybody smiles, and it feels just like the whole world wants to play/What is it about today?” This is probably my favorite track.

“There You’ll Be”

The closing track, “There You’ll Be,” is quite pretty, in the vocals and also in the overall tone. Aoife Hearty sings, at the start of the song, “All the day is done/You can rest your bones.” And there is a mellow and relaxed quality to this tune. This track features Stuart McCallum.

CD Track List

  1. Mr. Lee
  2. I Got Lost
  3. What Is It About Today?
  4. There You’ll Be

Home, the full-length CD, will be released in the UK on October 15, 2013. It will be released worldwide at a later date.

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