Sweepingly simple in “It’s Raining” and passionately multidimensional in “Heaven Was Open,” The Little Wretches are looking to cover a lot of artistic ground with their new album Red Beets & Horseradish this month, and for my money, they hit the mark and then some. Although there are a lot of folk/rock acts that have been experimenting with the limits of crossover compositions, this is an album that doesn’t feel especially tethered to a hybrid concept, but instead the desire of its creators to tell us something that words cannot describe nearly as well as these sturdy harmonies can.
I wouldn’t say that the whole of this LP is a work of surrealism, but to ignore the postmodern qualities of “Nothing Was Given to Me,” “It’s All Between Me & God,” “Duquesne,” and “Palms & Crosses” would be to dismiss the more sophisticated componentry of this otherwise cut and dry Americana release.
So much of what The Little Wretches want to accomplish with Red Beets & Horseradish revolves around duality, whether it be using it for communication or simply acknowledging its role in the creation of their signature sound, which is a lot more ambitious than what the equally surreal American underground has been producing as a standard lately.
It certainly isn’t fair to say that Red Beets & Horseradish was made specifically for the fan of eclectic folk/rock more than anyone else, but if you’re into something black and white that still has some creative rebelliousness driving its core, a tracklist consisting of the likes of “Winter’s Grace,” “Walked Along,” and the forward-leaning “Tiger Pajamas” will be right up your alley. From top to bottom, this is a surprisingly accessible listen that really gives me a good idea of who The Little Wretches are, and I doubt it will mark the last time I’m raving about their material.