The funniest part of Ruby Fray’s music is how Emily Beanblossom, the musician behind the project, responds when asked to describe her music. The sound has been given a range of descriptions: witchy chamber folk, psychedelic witch wave, witch ghost folk-pop-rock. Transitioning between farm life and city life multiple times, Emily went from project to project. She eventually settled in Austin, where Ruby Fray’s sophomore album, Grackle, was conceived.
When you actually listen to the album, you can hear the reason for the long varied descriptors: they’re all surprisingly very tailored good descriptions of Ruby Fray’s sound. Emily’s vocals are dynamic and charming, ranging from eerie whispers to belted howls. There are twinkling synths, haunting melodies, and pure rock guitar riffs. It can occasionally fall into a dark and ghostly place, but the album carries a fun, lighthearted, ethereal vibe.
The opening track, “You Should Go,” is soft, sparkling and ends with a hummed eerie melody; surprisingly, it’s synths and vocals only. “Carry Me Down” begins with soft melodies, a beat resembling a heart pulse, muffled vocals, and then ends high with grand drumming, celebratory vocals, and funky guitar. The first single, “Barbara,” is upbeat with strong lyrics that translate into a solemn reprimand. The album gets most psychedelic on “It’s Mine.” The song opens with a groovy guitar line and a slick vocal line but then guitar, vocals, and drums explode into a rushed tempo before returning to its initial speed; this happens multiple times throughout the number before ending on a single beautiful string note.
Their style resembles a concoction through the way all of the musical elements come together. Maybe that’s the reason behind so many “witch” adjectives; dark tones and mystical vibes are enthralling. Regardless of what this sophomore effort is labeled as, they know their sound, and it is most enchanting.