Maybe you wouldn’t anticipate a three-minute guitar solo on a musician’s first ever solo music release, but Carlo Redl’s “Empty” defies all expectations.
Redl, a junior studying music business and entertainment industries with minors in jazz and marketing, released the studio project on Oct. 14. His first-ever EP after being a featured artist on multiple songs, the singer/songwriter channels a variety of genres including pop, R&B, jazz, rock and indie.
“All the songs were written in my bedroom,” Redl said. “I just voice-memoed my guitar and vocals and then I brought those to the studio.”
The process of bringing his bedroom ideas to life went “really smoothly” according to Redl, with songs like the title track “Empty” written in less than an hour.
“All the verses and choruses were solidified within the first 30 minutes, which is really rare. It’s rare that it flows that well,” Redl said.
Featuring artists Kaz and Mai Anna, “Empty” explores a failing relationship that has reached the point of no return. Featuring a vibey guitar pattern and strong performances from all three singers, this chill R&B song is the newest addition to my nighttime driving playlist.
Redl continues this theme of toxic relationships on “Talkin,’” a song UM students might recognize from his set at the Homecoming concert. This upbeat pop tune boasts groovy strings, punchy lyrics and a catchy hook — it’s the perfect song to play on a daytime drive or dancing in your room.
The third track “Luv” is my favorite song on the EP. Between the layered vocals, three-minute guitar solo and honest lyrics, it’s been a while since I’ve heard a song that resonated with me musically and lyrically. To appreciate it fully, you have to listen to “Luv” with headphones in.
The song, only performed with two chords, chronicles Redl’s journey with ego, one he said is still “in the process.”
“When I was having a hard time understanding who I was in the midst of trying to scrape away my ego, I would wanna be other people sometimes,” Redl said. “Or I would put up versions of myself when I was confused.”
With “Luv,” Redl hopes the message comes across that as long as you love yourself, there is no becoming someone else because that self-love will be sufficient.
“It’s really easy to be agreeable with everyone, but then the result of that is no one really knows what you stand for because you’re not expressing yourself organically,” Redl said.
The EP ends with “You Don’t Even Think About Me,” a mellow song about heartbreak that opens with beautiful harmonies and moves into an easy guitar melody. This instrumentally simple song allows Redl’s smooth vocals to shine, riffs and all.
In only four songs, “Empty” is a strong first endeavor for the budding musician. With so much room to grow musically, I look forward to what Redl releases next.
Listen to “Empty” here.