Emily Beanblossom (yes, real name) spent the last few years chasing the outer markers of agrarian and musical liberty. Escaping the collapse of her freak-folk band, Turf Surgury, an appropriate pastoral brut title, Beanblossom moved to Olympia, Washington where she found herself fronting the cult K Records band Christmas, working in an apple orchard and enmeshing herself in a community of musicians. However, it was a return for a stint on her family farm that produced the germ for current project Ruby Fray. This rural aesthetic, a sort of frontier loneliness, runs through the middle of her debut release, Pith, with tracks like the haunting and spare “Northern Washington” where Beanblossom's thick and charming voice channels equal parts Joanna Newsome and Nancy Sinatra.
Upon her return to Olympia, Beanblossom, a reported transformative force on all who encounter her eire and western alto voice, marshalled her musical friends to build and record under the name Ruby Fray. The product, Pith, a chilling and pretty release, was engineered and produced by Ben Hargett, who recorded the Christmas LP, and features a number of K Records artists including Arrington De Dionyso and Angelo Spencer. These contributions reflect Beanblossom's final reconcilation of her personal discovery and triumph on the land and her community surroundings in the Olympia scene, something grown from human connection. A sparse and real Portlandia tableau without the jokes, Beanblossom and her band take their music on the road, playing New York at Cake Shop on August 1 and Rock Shop on August 2.
Here's a video of the band practicing at the famed Dub Narcotic Studios in Olympia:
And the tour, from today on: