Music that will remind you of Nikki Lane one moment, of fellow Aussie Courtney Barnett the next.— Boston Globe
It isn’t pop, it isn’t rock, but it ain’t quite country, either. Only this can be said with certainty: Perth-to-Nashville transplant Ruby Boots is a paragon of feminine swagger...— Pandora
"More riot grrrl than rodeo"— Pandora
Country twang with outlaw bravado, tapping into the loose energy of a young Lucinda Williams.— Rolling Stone
Nashville-based, Australian-born artist Ruby Boots has signed with Chicago label Bloodshot Records and will release her label debut Don't Talk about It on February 9th, 2018. Pre-order on CD, digital, or transparent orange/gold vinyl LP here. The album was recorded at Modern Electric Sound Records in Dallas, TX under the watchful eye of talented producer Beau Bedford (Paul Cauthen) and features Lone Star-bred collective and studio wizards The Texas Gentlemen as the backing band.
At 14 years old, Ruby Boots—real name Bex Chilcott—left a conflicted home in Perth, Western Australia to do grueling work on pearling boats, and she hasn’t stopped migrating since. Her nomadic streak has taken her around the world, and eventually to Nashville, TN.
Don’t Talk About It charts this drifter’s odyssey, tattered passport in hand. Behind her commanding and versatile voice, sharp guitar playing, and adept songwriting, Ruby Boots confidently maneuvers past the whirlwinds life has tossed on her occasionally lost highway. It’s an album of hope, breakthrough, and handling the unknown challenges around the next bend.
The roads taken, the miles traveled and the voices heard during Ruby’s life’s trek resonate throughout Don’t Talk About It. Informed as much by the wide-open landscapes of her homeland as the intimate writing circles of Nashville, the album may range far and wide but always maintains a firm sense of place. Echoes of first wave UK power pop and jangly punk intersect with the every(wo)man indie and pop-inflected muscle of Best Coast. Classic rock touchstones from T. Rex to the girl-group-wall-of-sound to personal hero Tom Petty meld with a weary poet’s eye recalling Hope Sandoval.
On her Bloodshot Records debut, Ruby continues to map out a polished-yet-fearless, bare-knuckled self, previously hinted at on her last album, Solitude. In 2016, Ruby met with Lone Star state-bred studio wizards The Texas Gentlemen and the album’s eventual producer Beau Bedford. The group had stopped off in Nashville on their way to back Kris Kristofferson at Newport Folk Festival and a mutual admiration society quickly coalesced. The collective pulled a handful of songs from the 40 she had waiting and began recording at their Dallas-based studio Modern Electric Sound Recorders.
The album rips right open with "It’s So Cruel," strutting through the door with dual harmonic, bawdy, fuzzed-out guitars, reminiscent of a glammy, ‘70s southern-rock-soaked Queens of the Stone Age. It all captures the meteoric emotional flares of an adulterous relationship destined to fail. The Gentlemen spell a Stetson-hat wearing Wrecking Crew as they lay down dusty gothic vibes in the Nikki Lane co-written "I’ll Make It Through," building towards a crescendoing, persevering, bright chorus. (Lane also sings background vocals on the album's title track.) On “Believe in Heaven," doo-wop beats, dark choral echoes, and a plucked string section lead into ZZ Top full-bodied rawk riffage.
But the most defining of tones come through in spirit, when on the a capella “I Am A Woman” Ruby reaches towering vocal peaks, shredding raw, putting it all out there.The song could be a traditional spiritual, as she belts: “I am a believer / Standing strong by your side / I’m the hand to hold onto / When it’s too hard to try… I am a woman / Do you know what that means / You lay it all on the line / When you lay down with me.”
Of the song Chilcott says, “‘I Am a Woman’ was conjured up amid recent events where men have spoken about, and treated women's bodies, the way no man, or woman, should. This kind of treatment toward another human being makes every nerve in my body scream. These kinds of incidents are so ingrained in our culture and are swept under the carpet at every turn—it needs to change. As tempting as it was to just write an angry tirade I wanted to respond with integrity, so I sat with my feelings and this song emerged as a celebration of women and womanhood, of our strength and our vulnerability, all we encompass and our inner beauty, countering ignorance and vulgarity with honesty and pride and without being exclusionary to any man or woman. My hope is that we come together on this long drawn out journey. The song is the backbone to the album for me.”
Don’t Talk About It smoulders with a fighting spirit and pulls influence and experience—both musically, emotionally, and beyond—from many pins in the map, but is 10 songs harbored in the singularity that is Ruby Boots.
In the meantime, here's the opening track from Don't Talk About It.
More about Ruby Boots:
Ruby Boots had the following to say about joining the Bloodshot ranks: “After packing up my life and literally moving the furthest distance possible from Perth Western Australia to Nashville, TN (fact), it's a really special chapter for me and an honour to be welcomed into the Bloodshot Records family. I have been a super fan of the label, and so many of their artists, for several years, and I'm over the moon that my new record has found the right home, allowing my journey in to America, UK, and Europe to continue.”
In 2015, Ruby Boots (real name Bex Chilcott) released an independent record entitled Solitude to budding and consistent critical approval across Australia and eventually trickling over to the United States, including rave reviews from Rhythms Magazine, The Courier-Mail, The Age, and No Depression. Surrounding the release, her live persona and overall creative reputation began to spread as a powerful and unique voice paired with a laser-beam focused songwriting sensibility and led her to share the stage with the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Justin Townes Earle, Shovels & Rope, Nikki Lane, Tony Joe White, and many others.
“When you’re invited to share a bill with headliners like Kris Kristofferson, Justin Townes Earle, Shovels & Rope, Nikki Lane, Reverend Horton Heat, and Tony Joe White, you’re bound to learn a thing or two. Yet, in listening to her debut album, one can’t help but suspect that it was Ruby Boots’ own style and savvy that earned her a place on that stage to begin with.” – No Depression
Bloodshot distributes Ruby Boots’ music in North America and across western Europe, while her home label Island Records / Universal will release her music in Australia and New Zealand, and their partners will release in Eastern Europe, Asia and more.
Here's the opening track from Don't Talk About It.
Official Website: Ruby Boots Online