Ruby Rae gets personal and honest with her new album ‘True Crime’

Ruby Rae

When talking about the music of Ruby Rae, it’s impossible not to talk about her storytelling quality. Each song is a short tale with an authentic feel, both lyrically and musically. It’s the foundation ever present throughout her albums/EPS The Outskirts, Night of the Psychopomp, Voodoo Queen and The Uncanny. Each release offers something new to keep her listeners on their toes. But all feature tracks of a high calibre, thanks to influences such as Wanda Jackson, Mazzy Star, and Lori McKenna. She blends a soundtrack that includes elements of alt-rock, Americana, and Country with a few other genres. It all comes together to create outstanding moments such as “The Way You Ooze”, “Little Girls”, and “Hedy Lamarr”.

Now Ruby Rae is ready to release True Crime, a collaboration with Producer Lawson White. They bonded over a mutual love of honest songwriting, 60s girl groups, The Wrecking Crew, and much more while making this record over the last three years. She says it is “the most personal album I’ve ever written. Somehow these songs that feel so specific to my situation. I have evoked the biggest response from those who have heard them. Heartbreak and the humor that gets us through are so universal. In these songs, I wanted to tell the truth”. 

True Crime opens up with the toe-tapping groove of “When You Gonna Bring Me Love”. It offers a blend of Americana with elements of pop. It begins with the lines “When you gonna bring me love?” and is repeated throughout the song. As a result, it makes it easy for the listener to join in by singing along. Woven between these words is a captivating soundtrack with the beat and her guitar creating an infectious atmosphere. It’s a great way to begin this new collection of stories.

Rae describes “Queen of Wands” as “a song for wanderers, for people who want to start over, who are looking to be inspired. Who have lost their spark momentarily. For people playing their guitar at the end of the hall in the days inn for the ice machine”. While “Desperate Things” is one of Rae’s favourites from the album, “It’s about deep longing, whatever that may be for you, and what you do when you find yourself in the space between what you really wanted and what you got”. Both offer an impressive depth within their lyrics and sound. It shows how this talented songwriter is not afraid to get honest with her words. But it also highlights how she can share them in a way to speak to the listener.

Now to the first stand-out moment from the album, “Breaks So Easy”. From the opening lines, “Race to see what will kill me first / kind of bet no one wants to win / Packed my things in plastic bags I got from the front desk / But they break so easy”, you can hear how special this song is going to be. First of all, its sound has a stripped-back feel. It creates an honest emotional atmosphere that perfectly supports her words. 

As for her words, both these and how they are delivered are exceptional. She effortlessly shares her story with a captivating emotional tone. Each verse has its own scene but explained in a way the listener can picture the moment. The perfect example is the lines, “Funny I think about that record player / I bought for us when things seemed brighter / Heard you sold it to a friend the day you moved away / And it breaks so easy”. “Breaks So Easy” is a beautiful song that offers so much. Press play and enjoy its tale. 

Offering gorgeous storytelling comes “Natural Life”. Again, it is another delightful listening experience as her way with words keeps you mesmerised until its end. Her gentle vocals take the listener by the hand to guide them through her story. They excel as they deliver the chorus, “And I won’t drag you down this time / And no one will do that again / for the rest of your natural life”. “Beehive” follows on and offers more of the same captivating storytelling traits but this time with a cool toe-tapping groove to accompany her words. 

‘True Crime’ is storytelling at its finest by Ruby Rae, with a soundtrack as mesmerising as her words.

​Another stand-out moment appears with the arrival of the title track, “True Crime”. It begins with a gentle mood to help open up her tale. Rae softly delivers the lines, “Sink my teeth into the universe / Just to try to catch a spark / Though you’re halfway across the atlas / I can feel you in the dark”. Throughout the first verse, the way she moulds her words to share various feelings is a credit to her writing style. After the first chorus, the mood switches. An electric guitar bursts in, but not too loud to add a bit of edge to the soundtrack. Her vocals match the tone, especially as she delivers, “I deserve better yeah I think I do / Sometimes the words can be cruel to you / They get lost in the jungle green / Of what I say, what I feel and what I mean”. It is a song of two halves that perfectly showcases the range that Ruby Rae has to offer.

“Tied to the Track” opens up with more of Rae’s gentle vocals. The emotional tone she adds to the opening lines, “Well it’s too hot for lovers, too cold for friends / Find myself alone again / This is how the world ends in / My one-room apartment”, adds so much. It is a trait that continues to flow until its end. All delivered so effortlessly. The chorus has the same tempo as the verse. But it still manages to stand out. Again, it’s all in the way she delivers, “Coming out of a deep depression / I can’t catch a break / Every time I see the light / It’s the eye of a train / I’m down on my back / Tied To The Track”. It may not stand out as much as others so far, but it is one of those moments you can’t help returning to hear.

“Venus or Aphrodite” and “Lonesome Sugar” offer more of her gentle storytelling style. They help to bring the album towards its final moment, “The Breakers”. Her guitar welcomes the listener before her tale begins, “I don’t want to fall in love / I get lost in the breakers / I just want to sit still / Let the waves take me out to the sea”. They are lines that are all repeated throughout the song. Each time, her effortless tone is mesmerising. It may not be as deep with its lyrics, but its overall feel and sound make up for it. It is a great way to close out True Crime.

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When listening to True Crime in full, you understand why Ruby Rae is proud of what she has created. Throughout each release, she has continued to fine-tune the quality of her lyrics (which were already impressive). She has continued to push her songwriting boundaries and even tried new things with her sound. As a result, the new album has depth and soul, both with its soundtrack and stunning storytelling qualities. Just press play and let this songstress take you on a journey with her music. 

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