“I want to be more than my parents opinions and my atar!” was a rallying cry for all HSC students, including myself, last year, and came off the potent and fierce debut from Ruby Fields, I Want.
The song sent Australian music into a complete frenzy as soon as it was released on triple j unearthed. Every lyric packed a punch so witty yet vulnerable, leaving anyone under twenty wanting more one liners to laugh and cry to.
Eleven busy months later and Ruby’s EP debut, Your Dad’s Opinion For Dinner is here, and it rules.
Ruby Fields was always destined for something bigger. Living in the same coastal town as I do, she was always the cool-guitar-girl playing at the cool-guitar-bars, but with an unflinching honesty that was usually dismissed for up-and-coming grom garage bands. Your Dad’s Opinion For Dinner cohesively humanises the cool-guitar-girl trope, showing there’s way more than meets the eye.
The opener, Ritalin, is instantly self assured. The chorus follows on from I Want’s brilliance, as she ponders “doesn’t it suck growing up? Doesn’t she know it!”. The track is questioning of nightclubs (with a cheeky mention of the infamous Vinyl Room, a Shire clubbing staple), her likening to old folks, and the old Russian men who yell at her at the chemist, pulled together by her non-challant vocals and just the right amount of punk energy.
Already released tracks I Want and P Plates still hold their observational kick and are instantly welcome on the EP, where they finally have a home. Something that holds the EP so tightly together is how Ruby flips the ‘Aussie Larrikin’ stereotype on its head, interspersing lines “sink a beer and light a durry” on Fairly Lame, Fairly Tame with “watching anime, or was it hentai FUCK I can’t remember!” on Libby’s Pink Car, again proving the complexity of Ruby Fields as the cool girl. Fairly Lame, Fairly Tame really encapsulates Ruby’s astute awareness, lauding herself as a “cliche…just another chick with a shit guitar, screaming to the local fucks at the lonely bar”.
“Your Dad’s Opinion For Dinner” finishes quietly with Redneck Lullaby, a sincere exploration of the passing of youth and her relationship with her Mum. Her vocals again, force you to listen to every lyric so intently, and could be first tear-jerker, ending the track ending with, “this is the theme song for us all, some could say a redneck lullaby, so if you’re young and terrified and just trying to have a good time.”, underneath a sombre electric guitar.
Ruby Fields is honest, she’s messy and this EP holds so many vignettes of teen angst and exploration, it’s hard to keep count. Yet, despite the intense sincerity of the final track, Fields doesn’t finish her debut without the sound of cracking open a literal tinnie.
Pic at the top by Jess Gleeson.
Thursday 29 March – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Thursday 12 April – Jive, Adelaide
Friday 13 April – The Sewing Room, Perth
Saturday 21 April – The Lair, Sydney
Tuesday 24 April – The Foundry, Brisbane