Ruby Fields is growing up. The 22-year-old Cronulla native has spent the past four years winning over the hearts of Australia with her righteous explorations of youth and all its rebellion. Now she’s looking inward.
On Friday, September 24th, Ruby Fields will release her long-awaited debut record, Been Doin’ It For A Bit. Ruby has given us a glimpse of the mood of the album with lead single ‘Song About A Boy.’
The unsparing, heart-on-sleeve track offers us a rare glimpse into the vulnerable side of Ruby. A sharp-shooting chronicle of a relationship on the brink.
“I was really on the fence about releasing this track, because when you release a song you immortalise it –– whether you still feel those things or not,” says Ruby of the track. “Regardless of it all, this is a song about your feelings being caught up in someone that’s not right for you.”
It’s a track that speaks to what to expect from Been Doin’ It for a Bit, a record that was born out of a place of self-acceptance for Ruby.
“Since I was 17 I’ve been doing the Ruby Fields thing, but I gave myself a break last year to finally come to terms with who I am as a person,” says Ruby of the album. “I’m not sure I’ve taken the time to reflect on that after high school.
“Making mistakes is part of life, but in 2020 my self-worth wasn’t validated by who I was on stage. So I’ve been working on being a better friend, partner, bandmate; just a better person.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Ruby detailed her personal battle with femininity following a toxic relationship she had at fifteen.
“Around the age of 15 I started to experience a toxic relationship with femininity because I associated it with so much negativity in my life,” she explained. “By 17, I thought, ‘Fuck this I am leaving this guy,
“The minute I got out of that relationship I found myself again. I cut my hair, threw on some jeans and started drinking beers and started my band.”
The gnawing scene that Ruby paints is one that anyone who’s ever been in an unhealthy and all-consuming relationship will find some comfort in. That sad, numb, wasteland you find yourself in after freeing yourself from something toxic. It’s fucked up pathetic and you feel like you can hardly look at yourself. You want to ruin everything around you and yourself because that is the only thing that makes sense in the moment.
Ruby Fields is a master of dissecting the shit parts of being alive, laying them out on a table, and somehow still finding a way to joke about them. It’s shocking that she had the self-awareness to write a track that excavates such ugly, tricky emotions at just 20. “I’ve got paper cuts and all my songs are whiny / The spoon wasn’t silver, just really shiny.”
Ruby’s songs are often painful to listen to. They force you to reckon with feelings rather left acknowledged. They feel immediate and urgent, like they were written on the precipice of burning out. But they’re empowering.
Empowering not in the corny girl-power-watered-down-digestible-major-label-feminism way. But in a way that celebrates self-sufficiency. In a way that acknowledges that you don’t have to be on top of the world, but it feels heaps good being on top of your shit.