Ella Ruby – Baby Blue

Sometimes a track can be so moreish you can end up wearing it out. Each verse and chorus becomes too familiar. That initial thrill you once had sadly disappears, never to return.

This happened to me in the 1980s with the Pixies album Doolittle. It just sounds like white noise and washes over me now. I still weep for the loss of this wonderful album.

But on a positive note, I’ve learnt a valuable lesson.

Now when I hear a song or album that has me utterly transfixed, I listen, maybe again, then put it to one side and ration myself. It’s tough but the rewards are immense as countless great songs are still with me years down the line. I think of Midlake’s Roscoe in particular. Frighteningly moreish.

And so here I am again ready to dust off my ration book with the track In My Car, the Sufjan Stevens-esque centrepiece of a five-song debut EP from Seattle singer songwriter Ella Ruby.

Its got a lovely melody, an uplifting sentiment and a production to match. She “bought this car with all my savings…it gave me a sense of safety” certainly conveys its importance to her.

Substitute car with whatever gives you that sense of safety and that universal message is complete. My ‘safe space’ is a barefoot stroll across a sandy Dorset beach by the way.  A nice image to consider while listening to this track and part of the reason I must stop listening before it becomes ‘another Doolittle’.

While, In My Car is my personal favourite there’s plenty more to like on this strong debut, that like all break up collections ultimately looks ahead to better times.

She name checks Laura Marling and Big Thief in her message to us and the tracks Last Year and LA Lover certainly remind me of those acts, particularly Marling’s recent Song for Our Daughter, another album I’ve saved through rationing.

Baths is a nursery rhyme of a folk track with a heartbeat rhythm that may well become my favourite.

Elsewhere, Arbors rounds off proceedings, as the metaphorical leaves from autumnal apple trees fall to close off this collection.

Baby Blue is strong for a debut, especially its ability to evoke powerful, personal imagery and emotions for the listener. It’s about a relationship break up but I’ve ended up talking about why I can’t listen to an early Pixies album and sandy beach strolls in the south west of England.

Also,  with In My Car, Ella has a great track. Oh, go on then. Maybe I will give it another listen.

Ella Ruby – Baby Blue is released on October 14.

By Joe Lepper












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