Located in New York City the recently formed Ruby My Dear are some of the most proficient musicians I have heard in quite some time. Combining odd time signatures such as 5/4 and ⅞ with equally as complicated scales and chord structures Ruby My Dear are impressive the moment you start listening to them. What’s more impressive then that however is that they are able to utilize these technical abilities and utilize them in a pop format that is catchy, while being experimental. The band is fronted by Gabbi Coenen who provides classical female jazz vocals that work very well with the music. The music is exceptional but her voice is still the centerpiece that provides the backbone to these songs. Their debut self-titled EP contains six excellent songs that have a nice flow throughout. The sequencing of the tracks gives a good variety. For example, the frantic “Never Never” is a nice predecessor to the rather slow, sparse, “Next Time.”
Opening the EP is “You Go to My Head” which is one of the slower numbers on the EP. The instrumental parts sometimes reminded of one of my favorites album of all time Laughing Stock by Talk Talk. The first song is good but the second song “Nell” is great. The band flexes it muscles a bit with this track (Imagine Dirty Projectors if they went jazz) as the drumming is fluid and precise holding down the complex scales that are being played. I was in audio heaven around the 2:00 mark as the band goes all out providing us experimental guitar on top of the intricate jazz.
“Never Never” was another highlight of this album. I felt the vocals really shined on this one with the chaotic breakdown in the middle of the song, which slowly builds to a frantic state before it stops completely. “Next Time” contains an upright bass with Coenen vocals front and center. You could practically see this song playing in your mind – a dimly lit jazz bar, a spotlight on Coenen with the band in the background; classic. Closing the album is “A Lack of Color” which felt the most pop oriented to me. It revolved around piano and of course the vocals. Ruby My Dear released an exceptional debut EP which showcases their unique abilities and paves the way for a bright future.
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