Bangers from Down Under #6 – Ruby Fields: One of Australia’s Most Kick-Ass Chicks
Ruby Fields is a 21 year-old singer-songwriter from New South Wales and quickly became one of my favourite artists as I stumbled upon her music on Spotify. Despite describing herself as an ‘average chick’ on various social media bios, I’d argue there’s nothing average about her and her music. Her lyrics are meaningful without being pretentious and her songs are neither basic nor overly intricate. She can be both serious and playful within the same song without one detracting from the other and, alongside her band, she effortlessly combines aspects of Aussie folk, punk and indie rock to create punchy, passionate tracks.
Although yet to release a full-length album, Ruby has released two EPs – ‘Your Dad’s Opinion for Dinner’ in 2018 and ‘Permanent Hermit’ very recently in 2019. ‘Dinosaurs,’ from the more recent EP, is Ruby’s most listened-to song on Spotify, and for good reason. The song for the most part is soft and slow in comparison to her other tracks, beginning with just her clean vocals and guitar accompanied by some ambient effects from a second, backing guitar. This track really shows off how fantastic Ruby’s vocals are – there is power but also vulnerability in how she sings (and as a bonus her Aussie accent really shines through when singing!) The song builds up to a great, punky crescendo as her band kicks in; led first by the crunching lead guitar and followed by resounding drumming and punchy bass.
‘Trouble’ is the third track from Permanent Hermit. The song is short, spanning two and half minutes, but packs a lot of punch. It opens quietly, with just vocals and palm-muted guitar, before the band kicks in (in similar fashion to ‘Dinosaurs’) and the song suddenly becomes livelier and bouncier, accompanied by attitude-filled vocals by Ruby. ‘Dodgy Neighbours (& Tax Evaders)’ follows a different style – the verses are overall more soft, featuring a semi-muted guitar riff paired with the raw vocals (later interspersed with a louder guitar riff), whilst the choruses have the punky punch and thump of the bass. The bridge (and the choruses) also show off lead guitarist Adam Newling’s raspy vocals as he and Ruby seemingly shout at each other.
My favourite song by Ruby Fields (although hard to pick just one) is the opening track of her first EP, ‘Ritalin.’ The song really captures what Ruby’s music is – a contrast between the relatability and vulnerability of her songwriting, and the loud, aggressive, energetic musical accompaniment.
However, ‘P Plates,’ again from Your Dad’s Opinion for Dinner, was the first song I heard, and the song which got me hooked on this amazing artist. The song follows the pattern of building up through the verse, beginning with acoustic guitar and clean vocals and moving to a heavier bassline with crunchy, muted guitars and powerful drumming before moving into the chorus’ distorted guitars and use of cymbals.
And with that I should wrap up this article, but there are so many more songs I’d like to recommend, ‘Libby’s Pink Car,’ ‘Redneck Lullaby,’ ‘Climate’ and, if you’re a fan of covers, Ruby’s take on ‘The Unguarded Moment’ by The Church for Triple J’s Like a Version series. I hope you’ll find Ruby Fields as un-average a chick as I do.