Rising to fame in 2017, Ruby Fields has spent the time finessing her art and adjusting to her blossoming profile in the age of fakes news and is determined to share searing, unvarnished truths. The Australian singer-songwriter has finally released her long-awaited debut album ‘Been Doin’ It For A Bit’ which she has spent the last couple of years perfecting. Following from her stellar first EP in 2019, ‘Permanent Hermit’, Fields has honed in on what she does best by cultivating angry and angsty punk whilst keeping her clever lyricism and unique twang.
Described as “a bit of a journey of [me] growing up”, her debut is a place of expressing self- acceptance and triumph. It is a declaration of individual and artistic independence that reflects the complexities of growing up, making mistakes and ultimately making peace with one’s fallibility while being spun through a catharsis of distorted guitars and driving drum-beats. To put it simply, the album is everything that Fields has built her name on - a modern, no-bullshit personality, and is an honest celebration of where she is at in life.
Opening with already released ‘Song About A Boy’, the track eases through the opening verse before veering in a different direction with the energetic, punchy pop-punk chorus, making it the perfect first track of the album. Even though the extremely vulnerable lyrics left her unsure whether to release the track, the record proves her position as a promising artist and shows a more nuanced portrait of Fields. It almost acts like an introduction to the rollercoaster of stories she’s about to share within the rest of the tracks and loaded with twists of sunburnt poetry and heaving guitar lines, the switch in direction keeps you guessing and enticed.
Touching on the depth and honesty of her songwriting capabilities, Fields doesn’t shy away from hard-hitting, more personal topics. In ‘Pretty Grim’ she dives into a tale of self-improvement while discussing depression and alcoholism, all set to clattering guitars. Her sincere vocals paint a grim picture of blood in the bathroom sink, a pounding headache and a lifestyle that isn’t working for her. As the song evolves, so does the realisation of needing something better and then comes the tale of self-improvement. This is one of the things that makes Fields so unique and endearing. The ability to open up in a confessional, non-judgemental and non-apologetic way is something to be admired.
The more recently released track and last single before the album release, ‘Bottle’o’ takes you right into the aimlessness of an idle day as Fields’ coy songwriting goes deeper. It is the lightest and prettiest track on the album and the difference manages to subtly ease the audience out of a punchy, full-throttled album. Singing open-heartedly about her longed-for connections and “wishful thinking”, the song reminds you that you’re never alone when it comes to these types of thoughts. Placing her voice besides the rounded piano melody gives the track a more vulnerable feeling that showcases Fields at her most tender and cathartic. It immediately pulls you in and has you wishing that it wasn’t the last track on the record.
Words: Shannon Garner
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