Küchensession #235 | Rue Royale

RUE ROYALE ON THE WEB: http://www.rueroyalemusic.com

The road less traveled is a familiar place for Rue Royale – and they don’t mind giving others a lift along the way.

For their third album the soulful Anglo-American duo have thrown the doors wide open to help create their boldest, most romantic work to date.

After notching up over 100,000 tour miles in just six years, Ruth and Brookln Dekker released ‘Remedies Ahead’ in September 2013.

The pair wanted fans involved from the outset and launched a campaign on pledge-site Kickstarter to finance the record. People put in everything from £4 to a mind-blowing £1,000 as Rue Royale exceeded their goal.

Brookln takes up the story: “We’d got used to running Rue Royale from our small home in Nottingham. It had all been self-made. We’d record in our upstairs bedroom studio and then stitch together album covers and package CDs in our kitchen.

“We knew that we had to step out of that comfort zone and push ourselves to get to the next level. It started when one of our German friends made a video for our Kickstarter campaign. The brilliant response to Kickstarter wasn’t a given and we were relieved and humbled when we passed the target!”

The funding enabled Rue Royale to decamp to Bat Box studios in Lewes. They were joined by friend and collaborator/producer Paul Pilot (Duke Special, Beth Rowley, Athlete), and a tail-less squirrel who rattled around the rafters, for a fortnight’s music making.

Unlike their first two LPs – ‘Rue Royale’ (2008) and ‘Guide To An Escape’ (2011 and re-released by Sinnbus in 2012) – the pair wrote most of the tracks on the road. “Almost every demo was recorded into my phone during sound checks,” Brookln recalls. “This meant the songs were birthed in big, spacious rooms rather than a bedroom. We took these bare bone demos into the studio with Paul and colored in some of the spaces.”

This more confident approach allows Rue Royale to venture down new artistic avenues on ‘Remedies Ahead’. While kick-drum beats still drive several tunes, bold rhythmic patterns bookend the album on opener “Changed My Grip” and the spine-tingling finale “Every Little Step”.

Cut-up child’s drum kit loops, gut-string and electric guitars, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, synths, and upright piano all feature on an album that’s key ingredient, paradoxically, is breathing space.

Followers of the band, who started in 2006 in their then hometown of Chicago, will recognise the Fleetwood Mac and Gospel influenced harmonies. However, they may not be expecting the rib-rattling synth bass lines and loops which lurk beneath heart-breaking melodies on “Tiny Parcels” and “Pull Me Like A String”.

Domestic and geographical dislocation are themes but there’s a growing sense of hopeful defiance on ‘Remedies Ahead’, typified in live favourite “Try As They Might” with it’s chorus: “Try as they might/they cannot get me down” or “With the step of a waltz/feeling low but walking tall ” from “Brought Up Somewhere Else”.

“Every Little Step” rounds off the album’s lyrical arc with Ruth starting: “Been alive but I just woke up” and ending: “Can’t go back/Can’t go backwards”.

A cottage industry that’s already reached the farthest corners of Europe and the US, Rue Royale are breaking out – chasing the remedies ahead.

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