Release Date: February 8, 2019
Restless is the first full-length album by Montreal based Radiant Baby.
Restless starts by luring the listener in with a lonely saxophone solo but then kicks into funky, cheerful disco arrangements with a synth-pop aesthetic. The following tracks keep this high energy and optimism until, halfway through the album, Restless starts to shift. Though still a dance album at its core, Restless loses its lighthearted tone and become more aggressive and anxious.
With this shift in tones, Restless evokes the passage of a dreamer passing from pleasant dreams to nightmares – restless dreams in the Restless. To punctuate this, the final track on the album even remixes previous arrangements of earlier tracks with a darker tone to signal to the listener the souring of the previous ‘dreams.’
Restless primarily uses synths and male vocals, but some tracks also use piano, saxophone, female vocal backing, electric drums, and even electric hand claps. The complicated, layered arrangements of Restless contrast its simple lyrics; simple lyrics which would be easy to sing along to while listening to Restless at the discotheque.
Standout tracks to me were “Firecracker” and “Funny Games”. These tracks really show the variety of moods Radiant Baby employs on this album while also demonstrating his skill at layering electronic soundscapes.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.