Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hump Day Hot Ticket: The Rue “Third Time”

Photo courtesy of Lucky Shot Studios

Happy 2017, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year. I look forward to bringing this weekly feature into 2017 and having a full year of new music to share.

My first entry for 2017 is a musical duo called The Rue, whom I briefly wrote about here when I made my list of favorite albums back in 2015; but I really haven't had the opportunity to write about them too much here on this blog. The Rue is an acoustic “father/daughter music project”, as described on their site. Hailing from Seattle, this musical pair consists of vocalist Rylie DeGarmo—a talented young lady in her early twenties with a very “old soul” quality to her voice (citing legends such as Billie Holiday to be among her main influences); and her father, Chris—whom, if his name seems familiar to you, then congratulations! You have visited this blog before. (But in all seriousness, Chris is an accomplished musician in his own right and if I need to list all of his credentials here, then you do not visit this blog nearly enough, nor do you spend much time at a place called Wikipedia. See there, I even provided a link for you. Onward...)

Now, that being said, if you visit here regularly enough or even pay attention to some of my most-read posts, I do not try to hide or deny that I am a longtime fan. I make no bones about it—I openly admit the impact DeGarmo's music has had on my life; I even credit it for saving my life (because it totally did).

However, if you have read previous reviews I have written about The Rue, I try very hard not to let this cloud my judgment or make this the only point of reference when discussing the music, because I like the music for itself. I do this because I think this is not only unfair to both parties, but also because I think Rylie is a fantastic vocalist and I will keep on listening to her no matter what she does or who she collaborates with in the future. I think she is a bright talent of her own and do not think she should constantly be overshadowed by the past of her dad, who happens to be her bandmate (for that matter, I do not believe he should be overshadowed by his past efforts, either). I would not even address this in such detail were it not for the fact that I have written extensively about the music from his past, so to not bring it up now would only be too obvious that I was trying to avoid it (and I am just not that cunning). So, now that I have gotten all the disclaimers out of the way...

The Rue's latest video is for a new song called “Third Time”, a track which will be on an upcoming release scheduled for sometime this year. Now, what I like about The Rue's music is that it's very relaxing and mellow. Their chill, laid-back ambiance needs no accoutrements, and is melodic perfection in its simplistic loveliness. Much as I love the over-the-top bombast of symphonic metal, or the intricate virtuosity of progressive rock, I can also appreciate music that is stripped-down and needs little more than a clear, pure vocal and a clean acoustic guitar to create an atmosphere. Sometimes less is more, and The Rue pulls this off with finesse.

The video itself also matches The Rue's musical motif: filmed in black-and-white, very minimalistic and straightforward; the video features Rylie walking around a house in a flowing white dress (or is it a nightgown? Fashion has never been my strong suit!). Musically, it has this bohemian feel to it, and I love the fluctuating of high and low that Rylie does vocally here. There is not much more to the video than this, other than some photographs on the wall or on desktops and tables, that we see vaguely as she makes her way to the front door at the end of the video to patiently wait for someone (obviously the subject of the song and the person in the photos). Can I just say off the subject for a minute that I really like Rylie's arm tattoo?

For more information on The Rue, visit their official website.

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