Greetings, K enthusiasts!
I serve as K summer intern extraordinare, lover of all things musical and writer of the words that you are currently reading. My experience working here in Olympia has been a deep dive into the depths of independent record label-land, a month-long plunge in which I have already gained an array of knowledge.
In one of my first weeks here, I caught a show at Northern and was introduced to the music of Emily Beanblossom as she raged as the front-lady of Christmas, an impressive psych-punk ensemble. Her spirit as a performer is an intoxicating blend of undeniably intense and uniquely approachable: she smiles shyly while addressing the crowd, only to turn deep and dark as soon as the riffs began to blare. Impressive and terrifying in the best possible way.
I was jazzed to get the opportunity to meet Emily last week while she recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio at K with Christmas, and even more pleased to sit down with the charming woman herself to discuss her other band and their summer plans.
Ruby Fray is an adventure close to Emily’s heart and quite different than the hardcore stylings that initially drew me to her voice. The group projects a subtle, haunting sound that they are currently taking tour in celebration of their (first!) album released in April, Pith [KLP 239].
We spoke candidly about summer tour logistics, her favorite songs on the album and the city she’s the most excited to see. Read, enjoy and be sure to check out Ruby Fray’s tour schedule. If you do one thing today, you should take this endorsement seriously and remember write me a “thank you” letter once you see them live.
Alli Maloney – Okay, so Emily of Ruby Fray. You’re about to go on tour with Ruby Fray and so tell me a little bit about it, as it’s your first tour as a band.
Emily Beanblossom – Yeah it’s the first tour as a full band. Giselle [Garcia] and I have been playing music together here in Olympia with a couple of other people I’ve played music with before here in bands in Olympia and they all moved out to Chicago, so then we’re gonna join up with them and practice for about a week then head out. Do a little bit of midwest and some east coast and south….
AM – Get the whole…
EB – Figure it out! Kinda along the way I suppose.
AM – Where are you the most excited to play? Anywhere you haven’t been before?
EB – Yeah! I’ve never been to Akron, Ohio.
AM – Ah! Chrissie Hyndes town!
EB – Yeah I think it’s a house show, so I really like house shows in the midwest quite a bit. Chatanooga is always a really fun place too. Yeah, I think those are probably… and Chicago because I love Chicago. There’s a pretty good crowd there.
AM – Yeah, the Midwest is the best.
EB – I’m a fan.
AM – I’m a big fan. So this music is a lot different than your other project, Christmas, so what kind of brought you together with this band to start making this sound as opposed to what you do with Christmas?
EB – I think that this work is just based on stuff that I tinkered around with when I was a bit younger and when I was first starting to enter into, like, the world of playing music and started thinking about how to write songs, so it’s been an ongoing… it’s just been an ongoing learning process and I think that’s what Ruby Fray is. Just kind of trying stuff out.
AM – That’s cool. So your album that came out, “Pilth?”—
EB – Pith.
EB – Traveling band is Giselle Garcia, Nick Badke and Ian Shaughnessy. Nick Badke and Ian Shaughnessy and I were in a band together before called Legs the Crab, um, which was like a very rock-n-roll band. Then Ian and I were also together in a project called Georgy, which was kind of like a pervy, goth band, so it was a little bit different than yeah, stuff I’ve done before with Christmas. Those are the two traveling band members in addition to Giselle.
AM – What’s your favorite song off the album, either to play or just in general?
EB – Shit, I don’t know! I think “Wilt Worker” is one of my favorites, the way it’s recorded. It’s very epic—it’s so, it’s just like, a bit too much. I like it. I think to play, now, I like to play “Young Scholar” a bit more because Giselle added this really doomy piano part to it that got really exciting to start playing live.
AM – Mhm, the creepy aspect of it all. So, anything else you wanna add?
EB – To… this whole thing?
AM – Yeah!
EB – Are we done? Nah.
AM – Okay! Well, Ruby Fray! Or one fourth.
See? She’s just a gem. I then got to snag some video of Giselle and Emily practicing some of their tunes.