Rebel Kind is the solo project of Autumn Wetli, singer and drummer of Ann Arbor’s Bad Indians. On her new cassette release, Some Things Were Just Meant to Change, recorded by band mate Jules Nehring, Wetli drifts away from Bad Indians’ rough-edged rock in favor of a soft, breezy sound that hides a devil-got-this-woman darkness.
Wetli’s distant, micro-range style of singing and sixties schoolgirl pop vibe make Rebel Kind sound like a close cousin to Cassie Ramone. It also lets her get away with extremely creepy turns of phrase, like “you’ll be dead with no thoughts in your head,” that only register as subliminal beneath sugary tambourine shakes and sha-la-las. Wetli knows how to combine the sweet with the sour, creating effortless, darling music that cloaks a more gothic, folksy lore – demons hiding behind a demure disposition.
The crypt creaks open on tracks like “My Baby is Dead to Me,” “Billy Spoke His Mind,” “Family’s Out to Get You,” and “All I’ve Got,” but other numbers stay on the level. “Best Friend” is a simple, heartening soliloquy filled with bestie “you can do”s, while “On the Farm” jangles along with a bit of a laugh at its own manufactured narrative.
Coy, chilling, and cheerful, Some Things Were Just Meant to Change understands and emulates the offbeat unpredictability of past recordings, but speaks with Wetli’s home- alone sincerity, making it an incredibly intriguing first release.