ruby gill - a song called your mum
I initially got in touch with this gal back in October through out submissions form on the website - she’d been directed to us through friend Brook Mckeon (a well-loved and well-versed Pure Nowhere veteran). She came with a song that made my heart turn to a puddle of honey, and an email signed:
“let me know what you think.
with love and little rain clouds,
I knew I had to share this wonderful human and her art with all of you. Plus, Ruby has proved herself to be the endlessly sweetest being alive in wake of my college applications and scrambled-egg brain. So here it is, almost four months later and we’re finally publishing this piece. Thank you Ruby, for being so patient and understanding, and for making music that makes me feel more than I could ever explain. I will never cease to be amazed by the power of real, true friends, so thank you also Brook, for leading this angel our way.
First off, can you tell me a little about what inspired this latest release? In the Soundcloud description it says, "a song about trying to be yourself in someone else's kitchen." I'd love to hear a little about that!
I reckon we live in a world of too-high expectations. We get into these relationships and jobs and kitchens and just constantly feel inadequate. This was about breaking out of that part of myself, realizing that i had something to say and something to feel and it was no more or less important than your mum's mac and cheese.
Your lyricism seems to come so effortlessly, are there any writers (both musical or not) that you draw from or relate to stylistically?
Absolutely. Mary Oliver is probably my favourite poet in the world - she crafts very intricate things out of very few words. Joni Mitchell is one of my favourite lyricists. I guess I am drawn to writers that have perfected that fine balance between succinctness/simplicity and linguistic interest/creativity. Mount Eerie, Blake Mills, Vusi Mahlasela, E. E. Cummings, Gareth Liddiard, Nick Hornby. But at the core of it it's just about having something profound and interesting and true to say. I can show you many well-written poems that do nothing for me, and many badly-written sentences that break my heart in two.
For all our readers who haven't heard your music before, could you maybe try your best to describe it? If a song of yours was something visual, what do you imagine it to be?
It's a winding open road made from roughly surfaced, very red bricks, leading to the honest bits of our brains with some big walls and oak trees and birds along the way.
What set of lyrics in this song do you feel hold the most power? Are there any verses that stick out to you more than others, or while you were writing, made you sit back and think?
It's probably the most obscure line but, "Should I retract every statement said, or just let them evolve?" was an important line for me to be able to say - to refuse to retract my opinion or quash my feelings, and rather let them out into the world and trust that maybe they deserve to be there and to be heard and grow and make an impact. We, as empaths, women, artists, apologize too much. We should let shit out more. And then let it do its thing.
For me at least, this song really evokes a strong sense of nostalgia. Do you find it difficult to write about topics that are close to your heart, or maybe a little more personal?
I find it difficult to write about topics that aren't close to my heart to be honest, and i think most writers would agree. I write about what I know, or what I want to know, never about those meaningless spaces in between. If it comes from a personal space, it feels personal for the person on the other end of the radio wave or book page or gallery wall and we can enter into the words and colours with more significance.
If you had to communicate one thing to a stranger listening to your music, what do you hope to say?
You have a voice and it's far from crazy, I hope you find a way to tell your story with it, whether that's in a big shouty verse or a quiet whisper in the garden.
I’ve listened to her music with the lights turned low, wrapped in blankets, windows thrown open in the middle of rain. I’ve listened to her music laying on the concrete in-between classes, sunshine warming my fingertips, mixing with the sound of basketballs on the blacktop and passing cars. I’ve felt her music in more emotions than I could ever begin to explain, filling moments with songs I will never forget.
So I’ll leave you with a hug across the ocean, from California to Australia.
Thank you, Ruby, for sharing a piece of your heart.