Five Things We Liked This Week – 25/09/2020

Further Listening:

5. Things Are Looking Pretty Grim For Ruby Fields

Hailing from the suburbs of Sydney, Ruby Fields came to the attention of many with her break-out single, 2018’s Dinosaurs, which was a huge hit in her native Australia, as well as drawing global acclaim. Since the release of last year’s EP, Permanent Hermit, Ruby has been working on her next release, which she hinted at this week with the release of new single, Pretty Grim.

Written two-years ago, Pretty Grim came off the back of a particularly gruelling tour for the then 19-year old Ruby, that had her asking questions about her mental health and career choice as she explains, “I was a bit lost at the time and hadn’t felt anything in a while. When you’re fresh out of high school and get shoved in front of the country with a megaphone you definitely make some cringe-worthy mistakes“. Blending the worlds of alt-pop and grunge, Pretty Grim is ultimately a song about priorities, about aligning career, health, alcohol consumption and fun, and finding a blend that works for you, summed up in the closing line, “I need something worthwhile to me”. By finding a life that works for her, Ruby Field’s music has never sounded more focused or exciting, we wouldn’t bet against it making her a star.

Pretty Grim is out now. Click HERE for more information on Ruby Fields.

4. We Could Really Gef Into Crake

It was only last month that we featured Leeds’ Crake, that was when they shared the fabulous Enough Salt (For All Dogs), which was released last week on vinyl as part of Saddle Creek’s Document Series. To coincide with the release, the band have this week shared the second side of the vinyl, Gef.

The track was inspired by a story from the Isle of Man, told to singer Rowan Sandle by her Dad about a talking mongoose who sometime in the early 1930’s came, self-invited, to live in the small village of Dalby. As Rowan explains, “Gef is recounted with none of the usual qualities given to ghouls or familiars, neither wicked nor auspicious, he was however a terrible gossip, a teller of bad jokes and a good catcher of mice“. Doing Gef’s tale the justice it so clearly deserves, Crake’s recollection is suitably reverential, with layers of dense sound, cut through by Rowan’s rich folk-tinged vocal tones. While in a lesser band’s hands a song about a talking mongoose might be somewhat silly, Crake are masters of finding something meaningful in the absurd, story-tellers of the highest order, and one of the most intriguingly unique musical prospects this country has to offer.

Enough Salt (For All Dogs) b​/​w Gef is out now via Saddle Creek. Click HERE for more information on Crake.

3. Don’t Mourn Who Field Medic Was, Celebrate Who He Is

Last year saw Field Medic, the musical project of Bay Area-resident Kevin Patrick Sullivan, release the acclaimed album, Fade Into The Dawn. With life moving largely online this year, Kevin has been sharing new music through his own web series, the field medic show, some of which will feature on his upcoming record, Floral Prince, out next month on Run For Cover Records. Ahead of that release, this week Field Medic has shared new single, i will not mourn who i was that has gone away.

A stripped back acoustic affair recalling the likes of Fionn Regan or The Tallest Man On Earth, i will not mourn who i was that has gone away is a fine introduction to Field Medic, with his impassioned guitar playing, inviting vocal tone and lyrics that act to draw you into his own world view. Here Kevin seems to look back, remembering the youth he was with fondness but not with any regret, “somewhere deep inside his memory there’s a kid who would just go walking, 24th street thrift shopping, he looks so happy trying on a costume“. As with so much Field Medic does, there’s a warmth and a positivity here, and even if it’s just for the span of a three-minute pop-song, this offers a much needed piece of escapism that’s well worth embracing.

Floral Prince is out October 2nd via Run For Cover Records. Click HERE for more information on Field Medic.

2. Loma Offer You A Shy Gaze You Can’t Get Away From

There are lots of records we’re really looking forward to in the coming months, none more so than Don’t Shy Away, the second album from the fabulous Loma. The follow up to their acclaimed self-titled debut, Don’t Shy Away was recorded and produced by the band in Dripping Springs, Texas, with the exception of one track produced by Brian Eno. This week the band have shared two new tracks from the record, the title track and album opener I Fix My Gaze.

Continuing the distinctly DIY approach, both tracks are accompanied by videos made by the band themselves, Dan Duszynski producing the aerial slow-reveal of Don’t Shy Away and Emily Cross giving us the claustrophobic beauty of I Fix My Gaze. The tracks offer two different sides to Loma’s music, Don’t Shy Away led by the gentle strum of acoustic and Emily’s always stunning vocal is melancholy and beautiful in its simplicity, gradually building as it progresses. Contrastingly, I Fix My Gaze is full of intriguing musical textures, with woodwind, burbling electronics and prominent bass soundtracking Emily’s lyrical search for understanding. Further reason to believe that the return of Loma might just be 2020’s most intriguing musical moment.

Don’t Shy Away is out October 23rd via Sub Pop. Click HERE for more information on Loma.

1. A New Day A New Tugboat Captain

There’s been a gentle excitement building around London-based quartet Tugboat Captain for a number of years now. First emerging back in 2016 with the charmingly lo-fi, The Tugboat Captain, they then grew into their sound on 2017’s Everybody Seems To Think That I’m A Raincloud. After line-up changes and relentless touring, the band are currently gearing up to release their new album Rut, recorded at Abbey Road and out next month on Glasgow’s Double A-Side Records. This week the band have shared the latest single from the album, Day To Day.

We shared a demo of Day To Day back in February, and listening to this finished version, it’s clear quite how much care has gone into making the song chime. Featuring backing vocals from Poppy Waring of the fabulous flirting. what was once a scratchy indie-pop song is re-imagined as a glorious technicolor pop-song. Resplendent with orchestral-flourish, the huge musical crescendo serves as the perfect counterpoint to the modern malaise of the lyrics, “I’ll set the bar pretty low, each day’s a success if I can pay for my own smokes and I am resigned to never own my home, I’m not designed for hope”. A potent blend of triumphant and troubled, Tugboat Captain are the perfect soundtrack to our lives right now, we’re all living day to day, and sometimes that’s well worth celebrating.

Rut is out October 16th via Double A-Side Records. Click HERE for more information on Tugboat Captain.

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