FM4 Soundpark Act of the Month: Resi Reiner

Photo of Resi Reiner (c) Lisa Edi
Resi Reiner (c) Lisa Edi

picture of Radio FM4 logo

FM4 Soundpark is a web platform, community, and radio show for and with Austrian musicians. Each month, one act is selected to be featured on air and online. In April, Resi Reiner steps into the spotlight as FM4 Soundpark Act of the Month with her clever, deceptively simple pop songs.

Whether being named “Soundpark Act of the Month” is her biggest award so far: that was the first question to Resi Reiner in her FM4 interview. After all, the award puts a new, exciting, homegrown act in the spotlight every month – for whom the entire Soundpark team predicts a dazzling future without a crystal ball, relying purely on experience and (most importantly!) gut feeling. Understanding the seriousness of the question, Resi answers,”yes, but I was already indie world champion.” Short note: in the “FM4 Passt” show a few weeks ago, Hannes Duscher and Roli Gratzer had Austrian indie acts “compete” against each other, and the listeners were allowed to decide who would advance to the next round. In the final face-off, Resi Reiner prevailed against Kerosin95.

Video: Resi Reiner – “Richtig Sommer”

That’s a nice side note, as well a subtle description of what (subtly) makes Resi Reiner’s music special: Schmäh (humor). The thing German-speaking people love, but that some reasons have failed to master (sorry!). The thing so many people in the pop circus are missing, because it’s always connected with a certain kind of self-consciousness that could also be misinterpreted as uncoolness. It’s what, at the end of the day, only very smart, sensitive people are good at, because – as always – too much is too much. Resi never wanted to write in-your-face lyrics, she says; everything has to be thought a bit off-center, hidden, hinted at rather than spotlighted.

The Subtle Art of Simplicity

Yet it sounds and seems so simple. When Resi Reiner sings about wanting to go to Italy or equates her relationship(s) with a game of ping-pong, when she sings about the summer of yesteryear or the dark side of the heart. Anyone who has ever tried to write an unkitschy wedding speech, really good lines on a birthday card, or kept a diary knows that the simplest things are also the hardest when it comes to choosing words. Every word weighs double and triple in this hard, stupid, beautiful German language, and there’s pathos and kitsch waiting at every turn. Resi Reiner avoids both and writes pop songs about her life. Her favorite song is called “Ich liebe das Leben” (“I love life”).

“I say it in every interview, I know, but I love this song and I love Vicky Leandros,” Resi sighs into the mic. There are few things in life more beautiful than the things one really adores. If there were anything to forgive, that would do it – but since guilty pleasures have been abolished and Resi Reiner champions her self-chosen genre, “Indieschlager”, with pride and a grin, it’s all moot. You could even make a case for classifying her under children’s music: “My friend once said it, and actually it’s true – children are much stricter and more direct in their feedback, so if they think something’s cool, it’s really cool”. Another ancient truth: long live unfiltered perception and the moments in life that are not yet gnawed by self-doubt and all the other crap. Resi Reiner has titled her first EP, released in 2022, echsestieren – we’re still waiting on the title of the first album, to be released in August 2023.

Video: Resi Reiner – “Ich will nach Italien”

Not that gentle humor in current pop music is a reinvention of her generation or even of herself: Resi Reiner would get along just fine with Florence Arman or RAHEL in this respect (to stay in the domestic music scene).

The Discourse of Lovability

Resi Reiner, in addition to her language skills and her absolute lovability, is surrounded by something that, if it didn’t sound so silly, could be called an “intellectual aura”. Maybe this is due to her almost Burgtheater-esque pronunciation (she was a child actress); maybe it’s due to her fondness for the hit songs of the 60s and 70s (to be fair, that was really good music)…or maybe she’s just like that. In any case, when things get even a little intellectual in German-language pop music, the word “discourse” quickly gets slapped onto it. With Resi Reiner, that’s not necessary. It’s human, unpretentious, doesn’t seem at all as if it’s meant to cater exclusively to a certain audience. In this way, she creates her own musical niche without any premeditation. And that, after all, is what distinguishes newcomers. That’s what we award them for.

Resi Reiner live:

13.04.2023 – 20:00 at Import – Export (Munich)

14.04.2023 – 20:00 at KOHI (Karlsruhe)

15.04.2023 – 20:00 at schon schön (Mainz)

Translated from the German original by Itta Francesca Ivellio-Vellin