Tiny Ruins

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Tiny Ruins, originally conceived as the solo project of New Zealand singer-songwriter Hollie Fullbrook, have released their third album Olympic Girls.

A rare blend of eloquent lyrical craft and explorative musicianship, the songs of Tiny Ruins are etched into the memories of crowds and critics worldwide. Traversing influences that cross genre and era, the artistry of Hollie Fullbrook and her band spans delicate folk, lustrous dream pop and ebullient psychedelia.

Building on the sparse arrangements and “a novelist’s eye for detail” (Uncut) cultivated over the past several years, the group’s greatly anticipated third album is replete with vital lyricism and galvanising rhythms. Sparkling electric guitar jangles pull against the unique thrum of Fullbrook’s acoustic as the cryptic poetry she is known for rings out.

Comprising a taut and agile quiver of songs, the record dances with explorative instrumentation and a buoyant pop sensibility that fizzes with life.

Hollie Fullbrook is no stranger to acclaim. Debut LP Some Were Meant For Sea (2011) saw her name on billboards, playlists and blogs worldwide. The album’s clutch of “gorgeous vignettes” put the artist on the map, and she took to the road from her home in New Zealand to tour extensively through the UK, Europe and North America – a passage repeated many times since.

Second album Brightly Painted One earned more accolades, championed by the New York Times, NPR and David Lynch, and winning Best Alternative Album at the New Zealand Music Awards in 2014. “An album of quiet, devastating beauty,” wrote Pop Matters. The album saw Fullbrook join forces with producer Tom Healy, whom, alongside long-time tourmate bassist Cass Basil and drummer Alex Freer, Fullbrook has worked and toured with ever since.

Olympic Girls was produced by bandmate Tom Healy in the same underground space (Paquin Studios at The Lab in hometown Auckland) as their 2014 album, Brightly Painted One. Whereas Brightly Painted One was recorded in three short weeks, Olympic Girls recordings took place over a year. It is the culmination of a flourish of spontaneity and experimentation and stridently reaches beyond Fullbrook's formerly minimalist domain. Olympic Girls is Tiny Ruins' first release since their 2016 single "Dream Wave", which was recorded and produced by David Lynch and chosen by Lorde for the Hunger Games soundtrack blueprint she curated.

Early 2019 saw the release of album three. Patiently built in the same underground lair as Brightly Painted One, the album was made over a drawn out period of spontaneity and experimentation, stridently reaching beyond Fullbrook’s formerly minimalist domain. Production from Tom Healy and Fullbrook is exercised with muscular aplomb; marrying the intricately woven poetics of Leonard Cohen, the shimmering dream-pop landscapes of Beach House or Mazzy Star, and the off-kilter experimental pop of Broadcast or John Cale.

Exhilaration persists throughout the record as Fullbrook commands a series of songs marrying the ordinary with the outlandish, the metaphysical with the mundane. Every track is coiled with the potent energy of a band enraptured in performance, while Fullbrook’s lithe voice slips between characters with a gentle yet urgent fluidity rarely seen in the climate of modern music. A sardonic humour is laced throughout as Fullbrook explores the absurdity of a life travelled in song.

”How much would you be willing to give?” Fullbrook asks point-blank in first single ‘How Much’, ahead of woozily discordant strings and a stomping neo-psychedelic rhythm. The lyric brims with imagery of supermarket breakdowns, lilos, snarks and silos while an anthemic guitar hook soars throughout. Not content to leave the song at a stable conclusion, a thumping ‘I am the Walrus’-esque bass outro propels the track boomerang-style back to a space of adroit experimentation.


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Tiny Ruins at Paste Studio NYC live from The Manhattan Center
Tiny Ruins at Paste Studio NYC live from The Manha...
Tiny Ruins - Holograms (Official Video)
Tiny Ruins - Holograms (Official Video)

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