Friday, February 17, 2012

Ruby Fray Heads Home On Pith

Ruby Fray has been one busy lady over the course of the last five or so years. After her freak folk band Turf Surgery collapsed Ruby Fray's Emily Beanblossom packed her bags and moved to Olympia Washington. It was there that Ruby Fray began and spread roots while Emily grew both as a person and an artist. From running an art gallery to working in an apple orchard and inevitably winding up in several band's Emily has had her hands in everything. But then just as things were coming together she was called back to her family farm and moved back home. Ruby Fray, however, didn't cease to exist but rather came into it's own during this time. The songs she demo'd and recorded at home would eventually evolve into her debut album Pith.

Pith is an intimate almost whispered affair. This is the sound of Ruby Fray alone with a couple of instruments and not much else. The songs here are stirring, quiet, and almost scary at some points. Emily Beanblossom has written something on this record that's haunting, rustic and with the exception of Calvin Johnson appearing in a cameo role, is so sparse it's on the verge of non-existence. Utilizing what seems like just guitar, piano, and Emily's warbley but adorable voice, Ruby Fray create songs that feel so close you’ll want to reach out and touch them.

This album sounds about as close to traditional folk as one could ever hope to get. Emily's life, surroundings, and where she's at has had an unequivocal influence on Ruby Fray's songs. Pith is as dusty and dear as life on a farm can be. It’s pastoral and countrified feel is charming and rather pretty. Emily Beanblossom as Ruby Fray has moved far away from her freak folk beginnings into far more subtle territory and that’s a good thing. Her hushed songs and affectionate but folky manner makes Pith appealing to even those of us can't handle singer/songwriter stuff.

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