"Life got weird and difficult over the last few years - both personally and in the world around us." Over a decade into their musical life as Rue Royale, Brookln and Ruth Dekker are back with In Parallel, an album of bold, rhythmic and sometimes haunting songs born from a time of beauty and tumult.
A period of reflection and honing, with help from Sean Carey (Bon Iver, S. Carey), forged Rue Royale's fourth album, "In Parallel". Due for a late summer release, it's their most substantial yet, driven by Carey's textural and rhythmic inventiveness and the outfit's strongest song-writing to date.
As well as featuring Sean Carey, "In Parallel" was engineered by Brookln and Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens) and mixed/mastered by Zach Hanson (The Tallest Man On Earth, The Staves, Low). "It was great to work with Sean," says Brookln. "Though the songs were already broader in scope than our previous work by the time we got into the studio with him, he really helped to mark this new ground by pounding into place stakes of bold rhythms plus some melodic treasures with piano and keys, even singing on a couple of songs." The album then was financed by an online crowdfunding campaign, a testament to the strong relationship with fans that Brookln and Ruth have treasured and fostered over many years.
The Nottingham-based Anglo-American duo have paid their dues with 1,000+ shows in 16 countries. In 2014, the pair took an enforced period of time off the road. After 7 years of virtually non-stop life on-the-road, they needed a breather. Instead, they had a baby. Being joined in life by a daughter, the oft-clichéd pleasure and pain of child rearing became real at home whilst paying the bills and facing up to political upheavals in their dual home countries with Trump and Brexit.
Already, hailing from separate continents, Ruth and Brookln noticed for years a striking difference in perception and experience as they moved along shoulder to shoulder. This parallel existence and parallel views were amplified in the months and years following childbirth; as one was blissfully floating, the other was perilously dangling.
"We came off the road and realized that we had shut ourselves off from the 'real world' of friends and family", reflects Ruth. "Our beautiful daughter came along which prized our hands off the steering wheel even further as we tried to balance the challenge of being independent artists and a family with new responsibilities."
Taking to the road again - with childcare in tow - will come as second nature to the Dekkers who began their artistic journey together in 2006 in their then home city of Chicago. They released their debut self-titled LP in 2008 and moved to the UK. Two more albums (2012's Guide To An Escape and 2014's Remedies Ahead) followed as the couple started their own cottage industry, sending out thousands of CDs in home-stitched cases and dreaming up other inventive merch ideas. They've featured on BBC 6 Music, soundtracked TV shows including Grey's Anatomy and even saw one of their songs sampled on J Cole's 'Miss America', the first single from Billboard No.1 album "Born Sinner".
"We're conscious that things have maybe taken a bit longer to kick into gear again than we, and those who follow us, anticipated," says Ruth. "We're now embracing our differing perceptions and balancing imbalances. We're moving forward with a confidence and a sort of wide-angle view comprised of our parallel-realities, exploring these themes and feelings in 'In Parallel'."
One of the most gorgeous, moving albums. What sets it apart, besides the melodies and the meticulous musicianship is Marissa's trenchant lyrics. Each track is a short story, or poem, if you like, a slice of life, and experience. You can't ask for more from music. Highest recommendation! Eric Van Lustbader