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Single Review: Ready, Steady, Die! “Vent”

“Sorry seems to be the hardest word and it seems / It’s something you’re not very good at / You’ve got to vent it out – nothing just goes away” whispers a melodic voice on the other side of Ready, Steady, Die!’s new single and music video “Vent,” these lyrics extending their sentiments through the air in a harmony as graceful as it is evocative. The mood is rather melancholic and retrospective even without the context of the poetry, and through their music in this latest performance we find a dreamy aesthetic a band like RSD! can manage like no one else. 

The lead vocal is smoky and pastoral, implying distance without ever having to drift too deeply into the mix. The instrumentation is never overwhelming or even big enough to blanket the verse in obscurity; for this recording, RSD! seem intent on balancing clandestine theatrics with a surreal, conservative take on melodicism. The kicker? The inevitable entwinement is one that yields the feeling of uncertainty, ironically adding a layer of emotionality to the narrative here that we might not have been privy to had the band decided against taking such a roundabout path from basecamp to the summit. 

In the music video for “Vent,” juxtaposition is a central component of how the story is transformed from mere sounds into a visual experience, and we end up with something oddly haunting for how minimalistic it truly is. This is literally in black and white, and yet the color in the vocal is putting so much life into the imagery that we’re unable to pull away from the screen as the song takes us from one frame to the next. It’s hypnotic and strangely provocative in all the right ways, which is exactly what I want in anything bearing an indie label. 

There’s nothing particularly prolific about the structure of this single, but the harmony formed by the players here is nonetheless something I would honestly refer to as divine. There’s no replacing the kind of chemistry we find in RSD!’s music, and even if they tried I don’t think there would be any replicating the tonal kinship they have when the mood, the melody and the mindful beat are all lined up in perfect synchronicity. It would be interesting to hear an alternate, electrified version of “Vent” if for no other reason than to test the depth of this very kinship, as of all their compositions this is probably the one with the most flexibility (at the moment at least). 

Fragile but formidably entrancing to the point where I wouldn’t recommend driving a car or operating heavy machinery of any kind while listening to it, Ready, Steady, Die!’s “Vent” is absolutely a stellar listen and a fantastic display of their talents inside of a deceptively simple single. It’s an interesting look for a band that already had my interest in 2020 thanks to Pleasure Ride, and whether you’ve heard its parent album yet or not this is a track definitely useable for indicating whether or not you’re a fan of the RSD! model. 

Loren Sperry

 

 

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