New Music: North Carolina’s Red All Over

Young enough to know what’s hip; experienced enough to realize it doesn’t matter. North Carolina’s Red All Over is, like every great artist, a black sheep.

“Underground music will always reinvent itself,” asserts the band’s bass/electronics wizard Jarrett Bury. The sound of an era lasts and lingers until it circles back upon itself, newly formed and ready for a new generation of listeners.
Named after a song by 90s shoegaze band Revolver, Red All Over, is poised at a peak of renewed interest in the post- punk, shoegaze and trip-hop that inspired Bury and his foil, singer Eliza Grey.

From these lasting influences comes a synthesis of spacey pulse and textured melodies. The bass pushes a melody through the guitars’ scorched chords and the keyboards’ ambient hums. It feels spacious but heavy, like a wet sky over a neon-lit city sidewalk, colored light splashed into dark puddles.

Grey says the music is somber. Then hesitates. Not quite somber. Maybe moody. It creeps and swells, but it pulses and drives, too. It’s a culmination of diverse tastes and an adventurous spirit. Grey travels the world, drawing inspiration from new geography.

Bury, meanwhile, draws from extensive listening across genres and from the experience that comes from playing almost 1,400 shows over 14 years in countless bands.

Its members are constantly pulling new ideas into Red All Over. Nothing sits long enough to stagnate.

“Everybody has these ideas about what we’re supposed to be because we’re ‘electronic,’” bemoans Bury. They expect techno, a monotonous dance groove. But what Red All Over delivers is anything but monotonous; it builds like dance music, it has pop’s core repetitions, but this is about mood and atmosphere, setting a scene and building a pulpit for

Grey’s rich, dynamic voice. But expectations are for the tragically hip, trapped in their steadfast definitions. Red All Over is about knowing what’s expected and then doing something deliberately surprising.