Fresh off a great Elliott Smith cover, former Chromatics frontwoman Ruth Radelet has debuted her first original solo single since that band called it quits last year. And oh my is it good. “Crimes” is a captivating dream-pop journey that she could have easily performed at The Roadhouse during her multiple appearances on Twin Peaks: The Return.
A stark contrast with her past band, though, is the uplifting music in the chorus — even as the lyrics poignantly ask, “Is it easy to start over? Is it easy to play the game? Is it easy to forget your name?” The largely electronic guitar-tinged cut flows slowly but confidently and with deep emotion, bathed in a tempered and intricate wall of gorgeous synths. And of course, there’s Radelet’s familiar vocals, working the listener into sustained enchantment.
It’s a fantastic way to kick off her next chapter. Basically, I am so profoundly excited for the Portland/LA-based Radelet’s solo career. She’s a gifted artist and deserves all the praise coming to her on her new adventure. (It’s worth noting she’s also a great photographer and I can only hope she’ll publish a book of her work someday.)
Anyway, enough from me. Take a listen to the Filip Nikolic-produced song. You’ll enjoy it.
Radelet made her debut with Chromatics around 2006 and, IIRC, her first single with them was “In The City.” She, Adam Miller, and Nat Walker announced the band’s end in August 2021.
A great complementary listening experience is Fawn, the duo of Ida No (formerly of Glass Candy) and Nat Walker (formerly Chromatics, Symmetry, and Desire).