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Ruby Fray: Grackle

Beguiling vocals, stylistic shifts and atypical song structures make Grackle one of the more compelling releases to come down the pipe this year.
Ruby Fray
Grackle
K
2014-09-30

Lead by the impossibly named Emily Beanblossom, Ruby Fray’s sound on their latest release, Grackle, straddles myriad styles, everything from medieval folk to Krautrock-indebted motorik to morose goth to straight-up indie rock, each stylistic exploration more haunting than the next. Without relying on too much sonic bombast, Ruby Fray is able to subtly shift from style to style in an unaffected manner lacking any sort of pretense that comes across wholly natural and highly enjoyable, a rare feat on the contemporary indie rock landscape.

Moving from a cooing whisper to a banshee wail, Beanblossom’s vocals are the centerpiece of the project and deservedly so; hers is a voice that demands attention across the whole of its range, drawing listeners in with its Siren-like quality and, finding them appropriately enraptured, moving in for the kill. Set against a varying sonic backdrop accenting atypical song structures, her vocal presence is equally suited to sparse balladry as it is full-on aural assaults. It’s all highly compelling and a cut above the standard indie fare, making Ruby Fray a group operating at the fringes yet well worth further consideration.

RATING 8 / 10
PopMatters