Direct Debit to Vogue (EP)
Pink Lane Records
Modern Folk Electronica Juxtaposition; Creating a Musical Garden of Earthly Delights.
Reviewing Ruth’s latest EP might just make me a bit of a hipster, as that’s who seems to be her current demographic; but we go back many years; as after seeing her as part of Holy Moly and the Crackers, A Newcastle based combo that were/are like a Northern English version of The Pogues or The Men They Couldn’t Hang; at SummerTyne Festival on a sunny Saturday afternoon many years ago; I hunted out the other singer , Conrad Bird to arrange an interview for Maverick magazine; which was published the very next month and quite some time before their first release.
While Conrad was the consummate all around showman, songwriter and bon vivant; it was always obvious to me that the co-singer and fiddle player, Ruth Lyon had talent unlimited if only she could beat her shyness.
What I didn’t know at that time; but would become more obvious as time went by and I saw the band play live, Ruth had/has a debilitating illness that has eventually confined her to a wheelchair.
Has that held her back? HELL NO!
Check her bio out to find Ruth isn’t prepared to let her ‘problems’ define her ….. and music while important is only a singular part of who she is …. and all praise her for that attitude.
I was already aware that her solo music was a departure from the punky Folk Rock deluxe that Ruth produces with Holy Moly, so I’m not even sure I was actually that surprised when I first heard opening track Wool. A sparklingly beautiful modern Folk song, sung in her smokily ‘flat’ Yorkshire accent and accompanied by some delightful piano and a bundle of electronica. If that sounds odd, it is and it isn’t ….. this is someone with a Folk Heart but using all of the technology at her fingertips to produce beautiful music.
Once olde fans get past that juxtaposition; the EP is a garden of earthly delights.
Second song Stone, is quite deep and poetic in construction but the subtle accompaniment and harmonies, actually gives it a late night Jazzy tinge which again; really, really suits Ruth’s gorgeous voice … and it is gorgeous.
The ‘hit single’ Trouble follows, and it’s not just Ruth’s words and story that will catch the attention; but the overall musical construction and melody that will appeal to many young women out there, as she delves into the minutiae of their and her lives, with some ‘fantasy’ thrown in too ….. which made it perfect for Indie Radio and especially BBC Radio 6.
Then we get the punchy Clown, the darkest and most cerebral song here; again it’s a modern Folk song, tinged with a Jazzy melody and sung a voice that will make your heart wobble.
Then; in my humble opinion, the best is left for last …. Flood. This is the song that will make many a jaw drop (if they don’t know Ruth and her ‘story’) …. sitting neatly alongside every song that goes before it, Ruth combines irony with righteous anger and disguises it as a love song of sorts …. how she keeps from screaming the chorus beggars belief, but she does and has created one of the finest songs of not just the year but of it’s oeuvre; Modern Folk ….. with bells on!
Obviously many who hear these songs on the radio will presume Ruth Lyon is an ‘over night success’ …. as I alluded to in the intro, this young woman has put more ‘hard miles’ in during her career than the likes of Adele or Ed Sheeran could ever dream of….. follow her Social Media accounts to read about a professional musician unable to get on a train …. or worse still, turning up at a venue to find that there’s no means to get her and her wheelchair onto a stage! Seriously!
But, be warned …. do.not.feel.sorry. for her, she’s a fighter and will only be judged by her talent … and that is here in abundance.
Her hashtag is #AttitudeIsEverything …. and it is!
Released 26th November 2022
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