Ella Ruby is a Seattle-based singer songwriter, and characterizes her sound as “slow-walking, flower-smelling, dark folk”. You might even be able to guess Seattle is her home from her single “baths.” The beautiful yet wild sound of the song calls to mind the rain and ancient trees of the Pacific Northwest, though the lyrics surround gardens, bathtubs and flowers rather than forests.
Though the vocals in “Baths” are distinctly delicate, the song’s acoustic guitar possesses a building energy that borders on frenzied, even in their softness; this is emphasized by the insistent beat of the drums. The song is distinctly characterized by its soft guitar and delicate vocals; though Ruby’s voice is gauzy, her voice still harnesses a power like that of Florence and the Machine, but with a more Americana, alt-folk twist.
The album art depicts a brunette in a bath filled with sunflowers and blue blossoms, with vines spilling out of the tub; the album art certainly matches the words of the song, which liken the narrator to a flower. This further emphasizes the lyric-focused song; a distinct quality of traditional folk.
Though at first a listener may think Ruby is singing to the other half of a relationship, singing to a “you” with lines like “I’ll braid my hair if you braid mine after,” Ruby wrote baths about her “relationship to my body, to childhood, and to all the various versions of myself that I inhabit.” The “you” she is singing to is a version of her younger self, making the song even more beautifully intimate and bittersweet.
We are certainly looking forward to more powerful releases from Ella Ruby!
Photo from Mira Horowitz
Reviewed by Sarah Yoerger
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