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#3 RUBY FRIDAY

Ruby Pettit - photo by Alexandros Akrivos
Ruby Pettit - photo by Alexandros Akrivos

Sometimes music calls you to do things you thought you were done with. It’s one of the things I love about that particular form of creation, it can make me step outside the boundaries I set for myself, help me to take risks I otherwise would refuse. And, when I go back on my word about writing reviews and helping people promote their music, open me up to countless other requests along the lines of, you did it for them, so why not me? Good question, to which the answer will almost always be, no. Unless you make something quite extraordinary.

Depending on your mood, the songs on Still We Are Rising will make you cry, they’ll make you smile, they’ll make you sway gently as you hold the hand of your lover. And, if you’re flying solo, they’ll take you up above the clouds to a place where you can watch the rain fall without getting wet.

Boorloo artist, Ruby Pettit’s debut album, Still We Are Rising, is most extraordinary. The songs sound and feel so intensely personal that it’s as if she wrote them, yes, for the whole world, but also for each of us individually. They are a glimpse into Pettit’s soul and a doorway into yours. From the first inward breath of opening track, ‘When I Was A Dreamer’, to the silence at the end of closer, title track, ‘Still We Are Rising’, this is an album of airy atmospherics, harmonies and the vocal cadence of an artist on the rise.

“The song on Still We Are Rising came to exist through years of experimental song writing and introspection,” Pettit said via email (we’ve never met). “Naturally the songs are influenced by folk music of eras past and more modern sounds, but this isn’t a conscious decision. I find a sense of freedom through writing music. It is a deep listening to oneself. Some songs on the album were crafted very intentionally and some revealed themselves to me in a quiet moment.”

The songs on Still We Are Rising are a collection of fragile creations that tell stories of strength, power and endurance, each one recorded with the warmth of a low fi reel-to-reel production. Understated arrangements and woozy vocals reach extraordinary heights, seemingly without effort. In how it sounds and feels, this is the album that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O tried to record nearly a decade ago with Crush Songs. The difference being that Orzolek’s tracks sound like incomplete demos where Pettit’s songs lack for nothing.

Recorded over two stormy winter days, Still We Are Rising takes in Pettit’s love of Appalachian music, the songs straddling the Atlantic with subtle Celtic inflections complemented by hints of North American mountain vistas, all clear running streams, gentle cheek and mysticism. This is folk music of a sort, if you need a genre to guide you into its gentle charms, just be aware that, if you listen once, you’ll need to listen again and again.

“I think this album will play well wherever people are looking for music that is intimate, that draws them in and takes them to other worlds for a while,” Pettit said in her email. “I’m looking to create an atmosphere with each song. If people find the soundscapes of Still We Are Rising a welcome distraction from the everyday then that’s wonderful.”

Depending on your mood, the songs on Still We Are Rising will make you cry, they’ll make you smile, they’ll make you sway gently as you hold the hand of your lover. And, if you’re flying solo, they’ll take you up above the clouds to a place where you can watch the rain fall without getting wet.

Still We Are Rising is the most subtle and pulchritudinous song cycle I’ve heard in a long time. It’s only January 2023 and I think we already have a contender for album of the year.

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Still We Are Rising is released on 17 March 2023

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