On her past full-length, S/T (2010), Ariel Rubin was a contemplative and soulful singer-songwriter, within sparse arrangements of just her voice and acoustic accompaniment. For her new project, the revitalized alt-rock crooner felt only a full band could capture the energy and newly inspired sound by both experimental and familiar musical influences. As a result, Ariel + the Undertow was born.
On upcoming self-titled record (to be released Jan 22 2013) containing eleven lovingly honed tracks arranged with producer Mike Davidson, Ariel + the Undertow finds Rubin collaborating with an array of musicians, including Duke Levine (Keith Richards, J. Geils Band), Steve Scully, John Sands, Jamie Edwards (Aimee Mann), Annie Hoffman (The Field Effects) and John Ducharme. "I’ve always preferred to be a part of a band and Mike (Davidson) has helped take these songs from their simpler conception into something that’s beyond what one person can create.” As a result, Ariel + the Undertow elevates Rubin’s breezy croon to an ethereal and sublime level against wide-ranging musical backdrops. Take for instance the opening track, “Kindness From Strangers,” which Rubin explains “starts a cappella in a throwback to the big-band era jazz I devoured as a teenager. Then the band drops in and it’s suddenly this pulsating, high-energy rock song. I’m really proud of it.” Similar stylistic diversity can further be heard in the composition of “Only In French,” which originally appeared in Rubin’s early S/T album. The re-arranged version on the forthcoming album augmented with Fender Rhoades’ electric piano, jazz-brush drums and analog warbles could be emanating from a Paris city-scape where strains of Stereolab and Aloe Blacc co-mingle.
Ariel + the Undertow came to formation towards the end of Rubin’s battle with chronic fatigue syndrome. The illness caused Rubin to quit her job as a photographer and move home where she spent a year sleeping and writing music. “During this period, I was functioning very slowly and was forced to completely shut down. Each day was a battle to complete the most basic tasks,” recalls Rubin. “I described this to a friend who told me a story about when she nearly drowned and it felt so familiar. She relayed how the harder she fought the current, the quicker it pulled her under. It was only when she stopped struggling that she was raised back to the surface. There was something so beautiful and metaphoric about her description of that moment of letting go.”
This shift in her approach to both life and music resulted in Ariel + the Undertow’s new musical energy and message. “The first lines on the record (on the aforementioned “Kindness From Strangers”) are ‘Oh Marilyn, Virginia, and Sylvia too/ So bold with such beauty, so filled with the blues/ I’ve idolized and fantasized and got down there too/ But no matter what happens I won't follow you!’ The names reference Marilyn Monroe, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath. It’s both a statement of appreciation for the intense emotion so many artists struggle with and a triumphant refusal to step into darkness and death,” explains Rubin.
Raised on Vancouver Island off the Canadian West Coast, Rubin is the child of an actor and a musician. “Some of my earliest memories are laying in a sleeping bag on the side of the stage while my father played at the Vancouver Folk Festival” she recalls, “for a long time I ran away from music, but somehow despite myself it’s what brought me back to life.” With her creative side nourished as a child, Rubin studied violin, piano and trombone. However it was discovering be-bop era jazz vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone that cemented Rubin’s fate as a musician. “I was a very odd teenager,” she recalls. “From ages 16-20 I obsessively listened to ‘30s and ‘40s vocal music. I would sing them over and over until I could scat along to the solos in Ella’s version of “Take the A Train” or Chet Baker’s “Let’s Get Lost”. At the same time I was listening to my dad’s old Beatles and rock albums, and discovering artists like Bright Eyes and Feist. The combination of all of these influences is what inspires the band’s musical style.”
Having relocated to Boston several years ago, Rubin quickly gained the respect of the live music scene and a following. She has toured the U.S. and has shared stages with such notable artists as Sea Of Bees and Logan Venderlic. On the horizon for early 2013 is a tour, set to kick off with Boston and New York record release shows in late January.
Ariel Rubin - Vocals, tenor guitar
Colin Dinnie - Bass
Greg Settino - Drums
Lance Riley - Lead Guitar, backing vocals
Ariel + the Undertow - ST (Jan 22, 2013)
Ariel Rubin - Big Spoon EP (2011)
Ariel Rubin S/T (2010)
- Download print quality (high-res) version (Right Click -> Save As)
- Download print quality (high-res) version (Right Click -> Save As)
- Download print quality (high-res) version (Right Click -> Save As)
- Download print quality (high-res) version (Right Click -> Save As)
- Download print quality (high-res) version (Right Click -> Save As)
Ariel Rubin Lets the Music Pull Her In
[+ Show ]
Ariel Rubin remembers a teacher who saw what path she was headed down early on and decided to give h...Ariel Rubin remembers a teacher who saw what path she was headed down early on and decided to give her what he considered sage advice.
“My favorite high school teacher, in grade 12, sat me down and said, ‘I see you’re doing well with music. I just want to warn you that musicians become drug-addicted and suicidal. Their lives fall apart. Don’t do it. Do something better with your life,’?” she says. “And then I had other people — my music teacher, my parents — who were like, ‘This music is amazing. Do music!’ ”
Not that Rubin, who moved to Boston 2½ years ago from her native Victoria, British Columbia, needed to be dissuaded, mind you. She was already skeptical enough. Her parents were involved in the arts — her father being a musician, her mother an actress, director, and teacher — and she had witnessed their struggles.
“Being a kid growing up either on or around the stage, I had a conflicted relationship about performing,” Rubin says recently over breakfast in Cambridge, not far from her home in Somerville. “I’ve seen a lot of people do it from the viewpoint of getting something from it and seeing how challenging that can be to your self of sense. On a fairly conscious level as a teenager, I was wary of that. My only rebellion as a teenager was not pursuing music.”
It’s heartening, then, to realize that at 31, Rubin has finally arrived as a solo artist forged in the fire of a new sound and a new band. After her debut as an acoustic singer-songwriter in 2010, she’s now the leader of Ariel + the Undertow, a lean ensemble that skews more rock than folk. Rubin and her band will celebrate their new self-titled album with a performance at Church on Feb. 8. (They also have shows at Great Scott on Feb. 12 and at the Middle East Upstairs on Feb. 28.)
Rubin was immersed in jazz in high school, but shelved those dreams in service of something more stable. She moved to Toronto, studied photography, and apprenticed with photographers. In her mid-20s, after chasing a persistent desire to be successful — “I’ve always been a Type A kind of person who pushes as hard as I can” — she suffered a three-year bout of chronic fatigue syndrome. It was so intense that sometimes she could barely lift her head.
Living in a small cottage behind her parents’ home, she recuperated and revisited music. Except this time there was no pressure to produce anything, no expectation that the songs would lead anywhere. Around that time she also bought a ukulele while visiting her grandmother in Hawaii and fell in love with the instrument, for both its simplicity and the sweetness of its tone. Nearly 40 songs poured out of her within three months, laying the foundation for her 2010 self-titled debut.
That album, driven by ukulele, could be described as chamber-folk, but its follow-up burns with a fiery intensity. Rubin had started to explore that aesthetic on “Big Spoon,” an EP from 2011, but when it came time to make another full-length, she and producer Mike Davidson were wide open to inspiration.
“We knew that we wanted to push it into a definitive rock direction, but that’s not what we ended up with,” Davidson says. “The guiding force behind the production style was a fair amount of electronic-sounding instrumentation, which is typically inorganic, but by blending it with organic aspects of her voice and songwriting — it gives the record an overall sense of otherworldliness.”
Particularly for a sophomore album, “Ariel + the Undertow” is a bold declaration of independence, from both her previous sound and the hard times that dogged her so relentlessly. It opens with “Kindness From Strangers,” whose first 35 seconds feature Rubin’s voice unaccompanied and resolute:
Oh, Marilyn, Virginia, and Sylvia, too
So bold with such beauty, so filled with the blues
I’ve idolized and fantasized and got down there, too
But no matter what happens, I won’t follow you
That would be Marilyn Monroe, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath, all tragic characters whom Rubin vows she won’t become.
With her troubles seemingly behind her, Rubin is measured about her initial decision to avoid making music. Isn’t she glad she didn’t take that high-school teacher’s advice?
“Yeah, but I’m also glad that I did,” she says. “If I had been doing this at 17 years old, I wouldn’t have been able to approach it with balance and realize how to properly care for myself. In the long run that will let me do this longer and be happier.”
Glenn Yoder, who, in addition to being a talented songwriter and singer, happens to work at Boston.com, is celebrating the release of his sophomore solo record, “Javelina.” (You can hear and buy the album at www.glennyoder.bandcamp.com.) With his new band, the Western States, in tow, Yoder plays at Lizard Lounge on Saturday. The music starts at 9:15 . . . Betsy Siggins, executive director of the New England Folk Music Archives, and the Charles River Valley Boys, a popular local bluegrass band in the ’60s, are the recipients of this year’s BBU Heritage Awards, presented by the Boston Bluegrass Union. The awards, which salute individuals “who have made substantial contributions to furthering bluegrass music in New England,” will be given out at the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Feb. 15-17, at the Sheraton Framingham.
LUCY ROSE, ARIEL AND THE UNDERTOW, CHRIS NORTH (MIDDLE EAST 3/19)
[+ Show ]
...The next group that made their way up on stage was Ariel and the Undertow. After the Chris North ......The next group that made their way up on stage was Ariel and the Undertow. After the Chris North set, I expected the night to be a calm, quiet, cuddly sort of night. The weather outside called for it; I was shocked at the number of people who were huddled in the basement. But when Ariel and the Undertow took the stage, they literally blew the roof of the place. They had a loud sound, a sick attitude and a unique vibe. They were absolutely fantastic.
Ariel gets up on stage wearing red lipstick, all black, her hair adorably framing her face, and you can’t imagine her singing louder or heavier than Prince, but man, this girl opened her mouth and belted out Adele-level heaviness. They opened with a jazzy rock number that lead into a few more rock songs. Two that specifically stood out to me was “I Have No Music” and “Take Me Home.” Ariel has a fantastic voice and they have such a unique sound, you can’t help but dance. On top of that, when I talked to her after her set, she was so adorable. I want to be best friends with her, I want her to teach me how to sing, and I want her to do my hair.
Ariel’s band’s overall sound is hard to get a hold of. Sometimes they have a frisky little sound like Panic At the Disco, but at other times, they sound like the Ramones–I swear I heard them start to play “My Sharona” before they broke off and played “Take Me Home.” It makes for an interesting set that really keeps the crowd on their toes...
BAEBLE MUSIC VIDEOS: Ariel and The Undertow - Take Me Home
[+ Show ]
Ariel Rubin has a history of sparse, acoustic arrangementssomething that transmits energy and inspir...Ariel Rubin has a history of sparse, acoustic arrangementssomething that transmits energy and inspiration in a simpler manner. Her video for "Take Me Home" is something else altogether, louder, slightly more unhinged, cathartic. It's the result of Ariel's new project, The Undertow; a full band that flashes elements that are both familiar and experimental all at once. Explains Rubin, "(the song) starts a cappella in a throwback to the big-band era jazz I devoured as a teenager. Then the band drops in and its suddenly this pulsating, high-energy rock song. Im really proud of it." She should be. Have a look at the icy video premiere.
Read more: Music Video - Ariel and The Undertow - Take Me Home http://www.baeblemusic.com/music-video/Ariel-and-The-Undertow/Take-Me-Home.html#ixzz2JIkUzaVJ
Live Music, Right Now
ALBUM REVIEW: 'Ariel + The Undertow'
[+ Show ]
At first listen, Ariel Rubin – the voice and the brains behind Boston's Ariel + The Undertow – would...At first listen, Ariel Rubin – the voice and the brains behind Boston's Ariel + The Undertow – would seem to owe a lot to Florence + The Machine: Beyond the shared plus sign in their monikers, there’s definitely a certain sweep and urgency to The Undertow’s self-titled debut LP that recalls Florence Welch’s biting, soulful delivery. (Rubin even name-checks a “Flo” in the leadoff track, the pounding, new-wavy “Kindness from Strangers.”)
But at other points on the record she seems to recall the sass of Grace Potter or the aching croon of Adele – and when all is said and done, these influences combine to form a truly original voice that feels like it arrived fully formed. It’s a testament to Rubin’s vocal prowess and compelling arrangements that, right from the start, Ariel + The Undertow never fails to pull you in.
That’s at least partially because Rubin’s voice has a timeless quality. She claims to have spent her teens immersed in 1930s and ’40s vocal music, and on even the album’s most modern-sounding tracks she sounds like an old soul, channeling a jazzy longing from sometime early last century. (And possibly from France, at least on “Only in French,” a moody, echoey torch number.)
What makes that ancient feel work so well, though, is a rock sensibility that crops up sometimes unexpectedly, but always effectively. On “Kindness from Strangers” Rubin’s soulful a capella opening soon gives way to eerie surf guitars and whacking percussion; and on “Sinner,” the album’s most sultry rocker, Rubin positively gallops through a pounding celebration of “this life I’m living,” even as she struggles with the devil on her shoulder: “I’ve asked her time and time again please find yourself another friend,” she laments, before finally giving in.
Doubts, fears and an underlying sadness peek out from the corners of Ariel + The Undertow: “I have no music in my soul today,” she sings on “I Have No Music,” another gripping track buoyed by fearless percussion and brazen vocals giving way to a thrilling, be-bopping denouement that transcends the lyrics. And on “The Longest Sea,” the album’s most searingly beautiful track, Rubin sings sweetly and longingly to a lone, jangly guitar, quietly raging against life’s futility and endless troubles: “I take my cue again and again, hoping each time for a different end.”
But the album, and Rubin, come off as anything but morose – actually, Ariel + The Undertow both winks and soars, at times quietly accepting life’s hard knocks while at others rising above its challenges. On the buoyant closing track “Waiting Time,” she bursts through any lingering clouds, despite all the waiting and worrying: “Will we ever find all we are looking for?” she asks, and musically, the answer seems to be a definitive yes.
Ariel + The Undertow plays at Church of Boston in Boston on Feb. 8 and the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge on Feb. 28. For details, visit arielandtheundertow.com.
What Turned You On? Nedelle Torrisi, Ariel Rubin & Jenny Hsu
[+ Show ]
In this series we ask musicians about the one album that changed their life, the album that turned t...In this series we ask musicians about the one album that changed their life, the album that turned that slow burn of curiosity into an uncontrollable fire, the album that straight up turned them on, leading them to where they are today. In our fifth edition we talk to Nedelle Torrisi of Paradise & Cryptacize, Ariel Rubin of Ariel + The Undertow & Jenny Hsu of Other Lives.
Ariel Rubin of Ariel + The Undertow
Album of Influence: Patrick Wolf – Accident & Emergency (Loog Records)
Rubin: “I spent the first eighteen years of my life being schooled in jazz and classical music. After years of intensive study I looked around at the stiffly defined genres I had been trained in and thought if this is music I think I’ll do something else. Years later I went to Sasquatch Festival and saw Patrick Wolf. He stood on stage with mile high boots, a booming operatic baritone, a viola and a band that included a trombone player, drummer and someone with a laptop. I immediately bought his record. That performance and Accident & Emergency were a revelation. I saw that jazz, classical, pop and rock could be woven together to create interesting, dynamically orchestrated songs that were also catchy and digestible and I wanted to make songs like that.”
From The Horse’s Mouth: Ariel Rubin (Ariel + The Undertow) on S/T
[+ Show ]
Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ariel Rubin debuts her new band, Ariel + The Undertow vi...Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ariel Rubin debuts her new band, Ariel + The Undertow via their self-titled debut on January 22. Rubin’s breezy croon is cut from the prime of ‘30s and ‘40s radio songstresses and sounds timeless. In addition to garnering praise from all major press in Boston, she has toured nationally with such artists as Logan Vanderlic and Sea Of Bees.
After securing over $11,000 via Kickstarter to record earlier this year, Ariel + The Undertow’s self-titled debut marks her first work with a full band, and combines Ariel’s strengths with strains of neo-soul, retro future music (a la Sterolab, Cinmatic Orchestra) with a hand into Yankee Hotel Foxtrot experimentalism.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Ariel to discuss the record. This is what she had to say about it…
When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?
In 2008, though most of the songs were written between 2009/2010.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
“Take Me Home” was probably the most challenging track. I initially wrote it as a bluegrass song and when my producer suggested turning it into a harder rock thing I balked. It really brought up an insecurity that I wasn’t cut out to be a “rock singer.” We did vocal take after vocal take and I couldn’t seem to loosen up. Finally Mike (my producer) drove us over to a nearby liquor store and bought me a bottle of Patron. He had me take two shots and try the vocals again, which is when I finally got it right. Sometime booze does help.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
“The Lion” changed a lot over the years. I wrote it back in 2008 and it kept changing shape and taking new forms, sometimes as a soft ambient song, sometimes with a really strong reggae beat, and now finally to what it has become. When I finally heard this version, I got so excited because after so many different lives it had grown up to be the song I always imagined it could be. Kind of like having a kid…a mini, song formed kid who doesn’t need food or bedtime stories.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
I had an AMAZING group of people play on this record each and every one who I kind of idolize and have a crush on. Duke Levine played lap steel and electric guitar and he is one of my favorite living guitar players. Jamie Edwards is a crazy musical genius whiz kid and created sounds with his synthesizers that I didn’t know existed. Annie Hoffman played bass and is probably the most chill, gorgeous tall blond vixen to ever hit the low end. A lot of the lines she came up with ended up being the overarching sonic theme for those tracks.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Mike Davidson produced the record. We’ve been working together for two years now, he also produced my solo EP released last year. Funny enough, I found him on Craigslist and it’s been one of the most fruitful collaborations I’ve been a part of. Mike helped to take my fledgling ideas and raw vocal lines and dress them up all pretty. He really added a level of polish and sophistication to the sound that I had struggled to find on my own.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
While I wasn’t aware of it while writing the songs, I can see now that there is an arching theme about not giving in to darkness. These songs were written coming out of a very difficult emotional time in my life where I was struggling with physical and mental illness and at first they were merely meant to be cathartic and personal. Now as a record, they’ve taken on their own life that’s not just about me and my little struggles, but about an intrinsically human experience, struggling against our own evils, shortcomings and dark thoughts to find triumph, connection and reason to keep getting up in the mornings.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
We’ve been playing the songs in different forms for the past two years and have received some amazing feedback. Funny enough, after all my insecurities I’ve had a number of people go gaga for “Take Me Home.” We had a really moving experience last year when a woman approached Duey after a show and said that she was going through cancer, but that she was so moved by the set she had had an entire hour where she wasn’t sick at all. It was pretty humbling and amazing to hear that, if that’s not a reason to make music I don’t know what is.
9 Tips for Running a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
[+ Show ]
TuneCore Artist Ariel Rubin has been busy. She ran two successful crowdfunding campaigns in the pas...TuneCore Artist Ariel Rubin has been busy. She ran two successful crowdfunding campaigns in the past two years, and her new group Ariel + The Undertow just released a debut, self-titled record. Ariel took the time to share some great tips with us on how to approach and get the most from a crowdfunding campaign. Whether you’re just thinking about starting one yourself, or are already in the middle of one, we think these tips are worth checking out…
1. Find a Clear Story
Ask yourself how does my project relate to others’? What is the human angle? What was the challenge that arose in my own life that created the drive to make this? People relate to the moments of struggle we all face, however great or small, and they like to hear how they push us to create something new.
2. Be Inclusive
Phrase your write-up inclusively using “together we can do this” language as opposed to “I need your help.” Just like building any relationship, your fans want to see the effect they will have, and directly see themselves as linked to you and your project.
Once you have your story and pitch constructed, edit it as concisely as possible. We are bombarded with so many email and Facebook cries for help that if you can’t get people engaged in the first few sentences, you may lose them forever.
4. Emulate Success
Research other projects similar to yours and make note of what they said and how they laid out their information. I looked at a lot of “how to make a successful video” tutorials as well as projects by people like Amanda Palmer who have had amazing results inspiring fans to take part.
5. Make Your Video Count
Make an impactful video. Keep it under 4 minutes. Be as clear, honest and emotive as you can, drawing on the aspects of your story that will engage your audience. Use your personal strong points. If you’re good at being goofy, witty, sincere, creative, etc., use that to engage your audience. Don’t be afraid to show how excited you are to make your album/tour/EP, etc.
6. Strategize Your Campaign
Plan out the arch of days and assume that there will be a lull of activity and interest at the midway point. Come up with inventive ways to engage people on these days, whether it be posting short update videos that are humorous, releasing tidbits of new music, or offering additional rewards to anyone who posts your campaign. Be creative, but also keep the rewards reasonable so you don’t overload yourself with giveaways.
7. Plan Your Rewards
Take into account the time, money and postage that will be needed to send out rewards, as well as the percentage taken from your funding site (Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, etc.). It’s easy to forget the cost and time of prepping rewards. Make as many digital low level rewards as possible by offering music, videos, a streamed show, etc., instead of a physical item. This will greatly decrease the amount of time and money you have to spend stuffing envelopes and dropping hundreds of packages off at the post office (USPS loves it when you do this…).
8. Find Others to Promote You
There’s only so much your own network wants to hear about your project. Therefore, to get it out to a broader audience you need active campaigners on your behalf. Ask friends with wide Facebook or Twitter networks, bloggers who have reviewed or posted about you in the past, and anyone else that you think would be a great petitioner to take on promoting the project with you.
9. Commit to Success
My second campaign was much harder to get people energized about than my first. I had another successful crowd funder convince me not to give up when my second campaign wasn’t taking off, and that fueled me to keep trying until the last minutes of the campaign when it finally reached its goal. The idea of crowd sourcing has gone in the past two years from a fringe idea to a very popular funding method. So, in order to get people engaged and invested in the success of your project, you have to commit to doing everything possible to getting your message out. Don’t be shy or bashful about asking for help, and start off by committing to yourself no matter what. Whatever you do, don’t be apologetic when asking for funding. If you’re going to ask people to believe in you and your work, own it!
Ariel + the Undertow (AATU) is the collaborative rock project of indie rock crooner Ariel Rubin. Ariel ran two successful crowd funding campaigns in the past two years, raising a total of $26,197. AATU released their first S/T record on January 22nd under Rubin’s independent label Tangled Mane Productions. They will be debuting the record in NYC on Jan 24th and in Boston on Feb 8th and 28th with further touring TBA. To hear the new record go to arielandtheundertow.com. Follow the band on Facebook and Twitter.
Ariel + The Undertow: Resilient
[+ Show ]
Ariel + The Undertow are planning a performance in New York City in celebration of the Jan. 22 relea...Ariel + The Undertow are planning a performance in New York City in celebration of the Jan. 22 release of their album of the same name, Ariel + The Undertow. The band came about when lead singer Ariel Rubin began to struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome. The impediment caused her to quit her job and spend time at home writing music, which has certainly been impacted by her experiences and hardships. The group will be at The Living Room on Jan. 24.
Ariel & The Undertow - LP (Review)
[+ Show ]
Through the moody/alt/blues backdrop of a sound, a Peggy Lee style voice comes right smack at you, s...Through the moody/alt/blues backdrop of a sound, a Peggy Lee style voice comes right smack at you, stopping you in your tracks, It's Boston's alt/crooner, Ariel Rubin of Ariel + The Undertow. I haven't heard a band quite like this in a long time.
"Oh Marilyn, Virginia, and Sylvia too/ So bold with such beauty, so filled with the blues/ I’ve idolized and fantasized and got down there too/ But no matter what happens I won't follow you!" - from : 'Kindness of Strangers' "The names reference Marilyn Monroe, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath and it’s both a statement of appreciation for the intense emotion so many artists struggle with and a triumphant refusal to step into darkness and death." Says Ariel.
One particularly dark moment: when she quit her job because she was struck with chronic fatigue syndrome. That might have had Ariel down for a while but even then, she stuck to writing music to get her though what she says was one exhausting year. The results? A new band, and a new record. Ariel + The Undertow's self-titled debut LP came out Jan. 22. The album was primarily funded through a Kick-starter Campaign which raised over $11,000.
Prior to Ariel and the Undertow, you may have heard the track 'Big Spoon', a sweet ukulele filled torch song which instantly got us hooked. Listening to the new record, I am reminded of early No Doubt hearing 'Lovely Girl', and 'Kindness of Strangers'. You get the feeling you are listening to a smooth Chrissie Hynde/Patrick Watson mixed vocal style in 'Lion', those high notes are lovely. This album has a big sound and it showcases Ariel's confidence well, but it also carries a lot of weight "Oh trouble, trouble, you're knocking at my door. Trouble, trouble, don't come around here any more" - 'The loneliest sea' a feeling we can all relate to, as even the bravest of lions have the ability to feel defeated at times.
A few nights ago was the official release show at The Living Room in NY and it was no doubt a grand celebration on a job well done.
ARIEL + THE UNDERTOW OUT JANUARY 22ND
[+ Show ]
Ariel Rubin's 2010 full-length debut was a solo effort of the violin-speckled, ukelele dominated, ac...Ariel Rubin's 2010 full-length debut was a solo effort of the violin-speckled, ukelele dominated, acoustic variety. The album showcases her soulful and unctuous vocals, making it no wonder that her 2013 endeavor required a band to balance them out. The endeavor is called Ariel + The Undertow, to be released January 22nd. Brace yourselves people, because this Canadian songstress was not kidding when she told her producer Mike Davidson she needed a team of musicians to actualize her new music's energy.
The album features musicians such as Duke Levine, Steve Scully, John Sands, and Jamie Edward, to name a few. This is to Ariel's delight, as she explains: "I've always preferred to be a part of a band and Mike (Davidson) has helped take these songs from their simpler conception into something that's beyond what one person can create." Rubin wrote the upcoming album's songs during her battle with chronic fatigue syndrome. She spent a year at home sleeping and writing music. You may think that sounds swell, but as she describes "I was functioning very slowly and was forced to completely shut down. Each day was a battle to complete the most basic tasks".
The whole album is imbued with a darkness, and soft melodies that creep up on you with such intensity (must be the full house of musicians) that this woman's strength and refusal to give up serves as a contagious weapon against the listener's own demons. This is accomplished through a pleasant blend of alt rock, be-bop inspired, jazzy arrangements and electronic twists.
The first track off the album, "Kindness From Strangers" alludes to her struggles with the opening line "Oh Marilyn, Virginia, and Sylvia too/ So bold with such beauty, so filled with the blues/ I've idolized and fantasized and got down there too/ But no matter what happens I won't follow you!" Referring to Marilyn Monroe, Virginia Wolf and Sylvia Plath, Rubin paints a picture of her dark emotions by drawing on powerful yet taunted female artists. The song begins a capella, gradually moving into a big-band style, powerful texturized musical piece. There is a haunting quality to Rubin’s voice, highly appropriate for this song, as the pain she describes is so great. The haunting quality to her voice reaches the listener, thus joining them in a shared experience with the singer. Rubin doesn't let us down though-- the song picks up speed, intensity, and insistence on not giving in, becoming that contagious strength Rubin is capable of offering.
"Only In French", the fourth track on the album, features both her soft-spoken, humble vocals, and her unapologetic powerhouse sound. She does this in a crescendo style to the words "je t'aime", or "I love you" in English. Backdropped by wide-ranging instrumentals, the song achieves a rare balance. Despite the amorous lyrics, the melody stays consistent with the album's overall darkness, giving the words "je t'aime" a sense of impending doom.
Next up is my personal favorite, "The Lion". Ariel describes her dream, in which a strange man turns into a lion who tells her she's been chosen to go to the ocean with him. I can only guess that this song encapsulates her struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome, opening with the line "Frosty morning, waking up from the sleep that soothes my soul" and moving into a description of a dream that is surely a metaphor for her struggle. Rich in instrumentals, there is a solid Portishead vibe to it too.
"I Have No Music" starts off more aggressively, bleeding into a jazzy, almost western sound. Rubin sings "I have no music in my soul today/ so I sit and I pray". Despite the description of what was perhaps one of her darker days, her be-bop influences shine through with such feist I couldn't help but crank the volume up. The song's subject may be emptiness, but the song's fullness and soulful presence speaks to Rubin's perseverance and acceptance of the duality we experience through hardships. Things may be painful as hell but we can always choose how to deal with it. And she's clearly chosen to use her demons as a workout for her soul.
Overall, Ariel + The Undertow is a powerful breeze; an eclectic mix of musicians coming together as what would seem a concerted effort to push Ariel Rubin out of bed and bring to life the fire within her. It is done beautifully, and at times hauntingly so. The album stays true to the human spirit with its paradoxes, dualities, and the eternal human struggle with loneliness. Ariel gives value to her struggle by offering her listeners a story of strength through her music. This might just be what the doctor ordered to get you through this long winter. Check out her website here.
MP3 Premiere: Ariel + The Undertow’s “Kindness from Strangers”
[+ Show ]
After a sparse, acoustic debut in 2010, Ariel Rubin has swung the opposite direction for her Kicksta...After a sparse, acoustic debut in 2010, Ariel Rubin has swung the opposite direction for her Kickstarter-funded second album, Ariel & The Undertow. With the aid of backing musicians including Duke Levine, Annie Hoffman, and John Ducharme, the record was put together in a year following Rubin’s battle with chronic fatigue syndrome.
“Kindness from Strangers” is Rubin standing up to that fatigue and depression. Name-checking Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath, and Virginia Woolf in the opening, she rolls from her bluesy refusal to follow these ill-fated women into a song of triumph. Her clear, strong voice, reverb-soaked guitars, and a well-placed synth solo ring out, washing out thoughts of darkness with gratitude for a beautiful world and the people in it.
Ariel & the Undertow (self titled) Album Review
[+ Show ]
Like an onion, there are many layers to Ariel & the Undertow. Onions can also be sweet, and so isn't...Like an onion, there are many layers to Ariel & the Undertow. Onions can also be sweet, and so isn't the new LP from the band fronted by uke, tenor guitar wielding singer/songwriter Ariel Rubin. The self titled record is filled with rich instrument textures courtesy of a fantastic line up of players, and radio friendly song structures all backed by Ariel Rubin’s powerhouse of a voice.
My first thought when listening to the 11 track album is “holy crap what a voice!” The opening track “kindness from strangers” starts as a jazzy, distant monologue from Ariel Rubin. I picture myself in a dark speakeasy club as Rubin presents a gorgeous vocal that soon launches into a pop rock swell of catchy lyrics, swirling synths, and tasty guitar licks. On “I Have No Music,” she sings “I have no music in my soul today,” and I think everyone who is listening begs to disagree with this sentiment (but it still makes a great song!). The song beckons a little kickdrum thumping ala Meg White and later on features a sweet, sweet country guitar twang and ring courtesy of Duke Levine. “Take me Home”’s guitars leave me a little nostalgic for the grunge era of the 90s…and proving that you can’t put Ariel & The Under Tow’s influences and abilities in just one basket. The LP closes out strong with “Waiting Time”…which I think was purposely crafted to be a last track it fits the bill so well.
The album as a whole takes a very pop styled direction, but is very clever in its delivery. You can tell from the lyrical content, excellent musicianship, and quality of songwriting structure that these folks have been around the block and paid their dues as performers and songwriters. I have seen Ariel Rubin do the stripped down, songwriter thing as well and she does it just like she did this record…extremely well. AATUT deliver a nice, neat package of great songs that I am sure you will be hearing a lot of in 2013 (around New England clubs, on the radio, and probably on about 100 TV shows if the networks know what good music that appeals to the masses sounds like!).
Ariel + the Undertow
[+ Show ]
Ariel + the Undertow was born towards the end of soulful singer-songwriter, Ariel Rubin’s battle wit...Ariel + the Undertow was born towards the end of soulful singer-songwriter, Ariel Rubin’s battle with chronic fatigue syndrome. After releasing a full-length in 2010, Ariel Rubin felt that it only felt right to have a full band accompany her on this next record in order to capture the true essence of this newly inspired sound. On January 22nd, 2013, Ariel + the Undertow will be releasing their self-titled record which will encompass eleven tracks that contain numerous collaborations with various artists including: Duke Levine, Steve Scully, John Sands, Jamie Edwards, Annie Hoffman and John Ducharme. Ariel + the Undertow’s self-titled record is one that without a doubt has soul with a touch of blues. The title track “Kindness of Strangers” starts off with just Ariel’s vocals and crescendos into a full band. The song takes an unexpected turn when the sounds of the synth are introduced. While this is a surprise, the synth was worked into the song exceptionally and was used for just the right amount.
Out of the eleven tracks on this record, the stand out song out of all of them is most definitely “The Liar”. This particular song incorporates Rubin’s “old soul” sounding voice but also gives off this slowed down “rock n’ roll” feel which is unlike some of the other songs. It feels very much like the sounds of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals except not quite as much sass.
All in all, this album is quite something. The instrumental is more indie rock but Ariel Rubin’s voice and rasp brings out this soul/jazz/blues feel to every song. It’s really exceptional. This record is not something you should pass up if you enjoy the sounds of Florence + The Machine or Grace Potter & The Nocturnals with a twist of soul.
Ariel + The Undertow’s Debut Album
[+ Show ]
Ariel + The Undertow is the the first full-length release from the band of the same name. It is the ...Ariel + The Undertow is the the first full-length release from the band of the same name. It is the followup to a small three-song EP titled Big Spoon. The full-length album is, however, more band-oriented music while the EP was more of a solo effort on singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ariel Rubin’s part. Rubin decided that she wanted to take an approach to the album as a band than as a solo artist, and God, did it pay off!
Not that Rubin is bad on her own by any means, she is trained in classical and jazz music but chooses to break the strict rules that both styles lay on music. She is a great storyteller and has a very powerful and soulful (which at times reminds me of Adele). Combine these things with a rock band and it leaves little to be desired.
The album kicks off with the song “Kindness From Strangers”, a dark and haunting homage to the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath. The song shows an appreciation for the intense emotion that many artists are inspired by and suffer from, but also is a statement from Rubin that she refuses to “follow” them into the darkness that took their lives. The song starts off a cappella, but soon starts to follow a quick drum beat and going through a roller coaster of dynamics, sometimes sounding furious and other times feeling thankful or remorseful. It is a very dynamic and thought-provoking song. It is also the single from the album and it is available for listening so here ya go!
REVIEW: ARIEL + THE UNDERTOW – ‘S/T’
[+ Show ]
Ariel Rubin is a singer/songwriter hailing from Boston, MA via Western Canada. Rubin began her musi...Ariel Rubin is a singer/songwriter hailing from Boston, MA via Western Canada. Rubin began her musical career as a solo artist with arrangements of just her voice and acoustic accompaniment, but recently has revitalized her sound and created Ariel + the Undertow. This newly inspired sound features full band arrangements that are a change from the old acoustic accompaniment, a change to a new musical energy. Rubin sites the music she listened to as a teenager as contributing to the sound of her band’s new musical style. Influences such as be-bop era jazz vocalists and classic rock albums led Rubin to create the style that is the new album.
The opening track “Kindness from Strangers” starts out a-cappella in what Rubin explains as a “throwback to the big-band era jazz” she enjoyed as a teenager. The tracks on the new S/T album all have a similar rock feel that reminds me of Florence & The Machine, both in the instrumentation and the sound of the vocals. Rubin has a distinctive voice that is both breathy but also strong, a voice that knows it has a purpose and is here to send a message.
If I had to suggest just one track off the album to anticipate I would have to go with the opening track, “Kindness from Strangers.” The a-cappella beginning really pulls you in with the distinctive sound of Rubin’s voice and the rock entrance of the band captivates you for the continuation of the song. If you’re looking for a new artist that is probably going to be big, then Ariel + the Undertow is the sound for you. Get ready for the album coming January 22nd followed by a tour in early 2013 set to kick off with record release shows in both Boston and New York. Check out Ariel + the Undertow for yourself at www.arielandtheundertow.com and get ready for a refreshing newcomer to hit the music scene.
SINGLE SPOTLIGHT: Ariel Rubin, ‘Waiting Time’
[+ Show ]
The ukulele-strumming Boston singer-songwriter’s EP “Big Spoon” was one of the happy surprises of 20...The ukulele-strumming Boston singer-songwriter’s EP “Big Spoon” was one of the happy surprises of 2011, and Rubin continues her winning streak with this driving single, which makes the most of her charming falsetto. As on last year’s “Mama I’m Leaving,” building percussion provides the backbone for the track, but it’s Rubin’s vocals that make things soar, like a sunnier Florence + The Machine. It bodes well for her full-length album “The Undertow,” due this fall.
SUMMER PREVIEW: NORTH BY NORTHEAST (NXNE)
[+ Show ]
MUSIC. FILM. INTERACTIVE. Sounds a bit like South By Southwest, doesn’t it? That’s because SXSW was ...MUSIC. FILM. INTERACTIVE. Sounds a bit like South By Southwest, doesn’t it? That’s because SXSW was the original template for Toronto’s NXNE, and the Texan juggernaut proved to be a great role model for its little sibling, that’s since grown into a veritable music force each June. Headliners include The Flaming Lips, Raekown & Ghostface Killah, Bad Religion, and Matthew Good, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as names and genres are concerned. Hundreds of bands are crossing the Canadian border to fill the showcase lineups, and Animal Talk, Annalise Emerick, and Ariel Rubin will do Boston proud as our official reps in the NXNE Class of 2012.
21 Stellar Songs for your 2011 collection
[+ Show ]
About all these songs have in common is that, with a few exceptions, you probably didn’t hear many o...About all these songs have in common is that, with a few exceptions, you probably didn’t hear many of them on the radio this year. But they’ll sound great coming from your iPod.
1) “It Doesn’t Mean a Thing,” Airborne Toxic Event. The group retains its chipper yet punky nihilism on this standout track.
2) “Culture War,” Arcade Fire. This moody outtake from their Grammy-wining “The Suburbs” album makes you wonder what other treasures are in their vaults.
3) “Mama I’m Leaving,” Ariel Rubin. Percussion-driven folk stomp from the Boston singer’s auspicious debut EP “Big Spoon.”
4) “Sometimes,” The Bandana Splits. Retro, poppy girl-group fun with harmonies to spare.
5) “Prelude/The Sound of Music,” Brooklyn Rundfunk Orchestra. The group’s rock revisionist version of the songs from “The Sound of Music” was a hoot, no more so than on the lick-heavy title track.
6) “Doris from Rego Park,” Don Rosler. A real-life sports radio caller becomes a character in Rosler’s melancholy ode to loneliness.
7) “Peg O’ My Heart,” Dropkick Murphys. Irish beats, gravelly yelps, jangling guitars and Bruce Springteen — what more could you need?
8) “Candlemaker Row,” Daniel Isaiah. Dylan’s spirit is all over Isaiah’s wild, literate paean to life’s fleeting moments, a standout from his ambitious “High Twilight” album.
9) “The Road,” Emmylou Harris. Harris pays tribute to early collaborator and alt-country pioneer gone too soon Gram Parsons, her aching voice somehow more beautiful than ever.
10) “The Hard Sell,” Gumbo Diablo. A driving Zydeco duet that manages to encapsulate the Boston group’s Bayou spunk — and there’s a lot of it.
11) “Another Like You,” Hayes Carll. Carll’s caustic duet with Cary Ann Hearst is the funniest song of the year, and recalls Johnny Cash and June Carter at their most endearing.
12) “Sounds Like Hallelujah,” The Head and the Heart. The group’s trademark harmonies, strings and acoustic hopefulness are fully present on this highlight from the remastered version of their self-titled debut.
13) “Go Tell Everybody,” The Horrible Crowes. A driving meditation on sympathy, sin and mortality. Best played loud.
14) “Galahad,” Josh Ritter. A classic Ritter story-song from his “To Yet the Unknowing World” EP, this tale of a knight and an angel is in turns funny, biting and irreverent. (And not a little bit sacrilegious.)
15) “Show Me The Place,” Leonard Cohen. Haunting and elegiac, it sounds like Cohen is back with a vengeance — his “Old Ideas,” coming in January, should be a highlight of 2012.
Ariel Rubin's Big Spoon
[+ Show ]
Ariel Rubin is an Interesting singer/songwriter. Far from being just another girl with a guitar, Rub...Ariel Rubin is an Interesting singer/songwriter. Far from being just another girl with a guitar, Rubin creates songs with her trusty ukulele in hand and a vintage crooning voice from a time long since past. The result is a diverse range of music that's as orchestral as it is sweeping. Her EP, Big Spoon is her second recording and sees her continuing to develop a sound that's completely her own.
Big Spoon is a beautifully fragile three song affair that will make your heart soar and then break, yearn and then feel fulfilled. It's sweeping stuff that's very good and Rubin's voice is simply fantastic as it hits all the right highs and lows and carries the song back to a time when songs like these were oh so seductive. From the guitar swing of, "I'm a Sinner," to the gently plucked title track, Big Spoon illustrates Ariel Rubin's ever diverse and growing talent in three too short songs.
Ariel Rubin Live in Studio, On the Verge
[+ Show ]
WERS recently had the pleasure of hosting singer, songwriter, and ukelele-ist Ariel Rubin for an On ...WERS recently had the pleasure of hosting singer, songwriter, and ukelele-ist Ariel Rubin for an On The Verge performance in which she and her guitarist, John “Duey” Ducharme, performed two songs from her EP Big Spoon. After reaching her fundraising goal of $15,000 on the website Kickstarter, Rubin was able to put out her first three-track album this July. Rubin collaborated with Boston producer Mike Davidson for the project.
In the studio, Rubin performed “Mama I’m Leaving,” a song she wrote for her mother, followed by “Big Spoon.” Her warm personality and sweet singing style could be felt instantly as she sat strumming on her ukelele, which was complemented by Ducharme on electric guitar.
Rubin grew up listening to The Beatles and Rolling Stones alongside jazz artists like Ella Fitzgerald and classic folk artists such as Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. All of these musical styles can be found in her own songs, but the way these influences take shape in her music has changed in the recent past, as she admits she’s experienced a lot of growth as a musician.
“I used to do a lot of things that were either folk or jazz or rock; it kind of sat more in the genres,” said Rubin. “And now, especially playing with Duey and his rock influence, we’re finding some middle ground where all those pieces are coming together and sort of meshing.”
Rubin migrated from Victoria, British Columbia last year and settled down in Boston, which pulled her in because of its music scene and small-town vibe in relation to New York City. “Coming from the West Coast it felt like an easier place to set up shop,” she said.
And even with such a huge shift in setting, it seems that she hasn’t taken long to adjust. “It’s a great scene here,” Rubin said. “It’s very community-oriented. People are really supportive, and it’s pretty small, as many people as there are. I feel like it hasn’t taken long to get to know a lot of people.”
While she frequently plays at a lot of local spots, Rubin has recently performed several times in New York City and around Maine. In the coming months, Rubin said she’ll be touring down along the east coast before heading west to San Diego in the springtime. From there, her tour will take her back up to Canada to play closer to home in Vancouver.
By Sarah Ruggeiro
C.D. on Songs: Ariel Rubin// "Big Spoon"
[+ Show ]
This is a special week. It’s Thanksgiving Week! You know you love it. There is a dearth of Thanksgiv...This is a special week. It’s Thanksgiving Week! You know you love it. There is a dearth of Thanksgiving songs (does anyone want to cover some Sandler?), but there are certainly songs that will make you thankful that you have ears and BostonBandCrush to treat your ears. And, I suppose, thankful for Ariel Rubin’s sending us her new track, “Big Spoon” in celebration of her weekly gig at the Harvard Yard Starbucks – tonight! And she’ll have Big Spoon with her. No, not to stir her coffee, but to stir your coffee. And by “coffee” I mean “listening senses.” And it’s not a Big Spoon in the literal sense of the word, but in the figurative, “this is the name of my new record and this here song” sense. OK. Shutting up, sir.
Ariel Rubin – “Big Spoon”
“Big Spoon” is an excellent study of figure and shape – artist Ariel Rubin does such an admirable job with this track that we don’t mind addressing her as an “artist” – she earns it in this one, friends. Rubin’s craft is on exhibit in “Big Spoon,” via the shapes that Rubin coaxes it into.
The melodies are deftly worked by both the arrangement and the vocals; creating a juxtaposition wherein both parts are laid over one another. The result is a masterful puzzle. Rubin adroitly works this juxtaposition like a cat’s cradle (the thing they do in old timey movies with the framework of string held between ones hands/fingers). Rubin massages the melody, she flexes it, she works it out to a great, loose spot where the melody can sort of stretch out its musical arms and feel all refreshed and stuff.
Rubin pulls off some big stretches and then some relaxes in this arrangement, and each movement is sweeping and grand. What allows Rubin to work this magic? Her primary tool is her voice; which is capable of making these stretches, alternately touching her toes and the sky in almost the same motion. She touches the sky more often than not, and when she does, her voice rings out bright and clear like a bell on a nice sunny morning. Rubin brings some of her own sunshine to “Big Spoon” and the result will light up your speakers, for at least four and a half minutes.
Ariel Rubin: Big Spoon EP
[+ Show ]
Ariel Rubin: Big Spoon EP Kickstarter.com has sort of revolutionized the way music is released. E...Ariel Rubin: Big Spoon EP
Kickstarter.com has sort of revolutionized the way music is released. Everyone thought it was such a revolution for Radiohead to release a pay-what-you-want album but Kickstarter.com has removed record labels even farther away from the process. With Kickstarter, artists post their ideas for an album and people pledge money to help the artist pay for recording, pressing the album, in some cases even hiring backing musicians. Ariel Rubin‘s debut, Big Spoon EP is the product of such a kickstarter project.
I don't necessarily think it's surprising that Rubin was able to reach her goal of $15,000. She is a fairly attractive woman with a voice that is somewhere between Norah Jones and Regina Spektor. But my guess is that her voice or looks did not play all that much into her ability to raise the money. Rather the major story of the EP is the musical side of things.
Ariel Rubin is a skilled ukulele player. In the short three song EP, she showcases a great variety of musical styles. On “Big Spoon”, she shows she can play ukulele similar to a banjo, with furious finger picking. On “Mama I’m Leaving”, she shows she strums the ukulele, using it similarly to a guitar.
But the EP’s strongest showing is “I am a Sinner.” The track is the closest Ariel Rubin comes to rocking. The ukulele plays a much more minor role than in the other tracks. Instead the song is populated by a variety of instruments: guitar, bass, drums, horns, and organ. The song pops in an otherwise sparsely arranged EP.
Although “I am a Sinner” is my favorite track, it does not mean that the more stripped down tracks don’t have a lot to offer. Ariel Rubin writes really good songs with strong hooks and a retro chic. I could see hear easily obtaining success similar to Katherine Whalen or Joanna Newsom.
Artist Update: Big Spoon Video by Ariel Rubin
[+ Show ]
You all might remember Ariel. She was raising money on Kickstarter for her EP called “Big Spoon”. We...You all might remember Ariel. She was raising money on Kickstarter for her EP called “Big Spoon”. Well, she was more than successful and our wonderful friend Graydon Sheppard has made a beautiful music video for her. Congrats guys!
MUSIC: Check out these up-and-coming artists
[+ Show ]
Ariel Rubin, ‘Big Spoon.’ It’s hard to judge an artist by a three-track EP, but the Cambridge-bas...Ariel Rubin, ‘Big Spoon.’
It’s hard to judge an artist by a three-track EP, but the Cambridge-based Rubin’s lilting vocals, backed by ukuleles on the luscious title track and plucky strings and electric guitar on ballsy “I Am a Sinner,” bode well for future success. By the time she’s rollicking through the percussion-driven “Mama I’m Leaving,” you’re hoping she’ll come back, soon, with a full album.
Show Crush: Cilla Bonnie / Ariel Rubin / Samatha Farrell at the Lizard Lounge tonight
[+ Show ]
Ariel Rubin will release her first fully produced EP, Big Spoon, at this show. While her music has a...Ariel Rubin will release her first fully produced EP, Big Spoon, at this show. While her music has an alt-country kind of sound there are elements of other styles, even a bit of reggae. Her instrument is the ukelele, and she plays it with the seriousness that her classical and jazz training affords. In fact it was the gift of a ukelele that rekindled her love of music after the trials of chronic illness. Her band plays with keen respect for her songs but with a refreshing creativity of their own as well.
Artist Profile: Music by Ariel Rubin
[+ Show ]
I like Ariel Rubin. She’s an inspiring triple threat: photographer, musician and co-creator of one o...I like Ariel Rubin. She’s an inspiring triple threat: photographer, musician and co-creator of one of my all time favourite zines It’ll Happen.. From our days at Ryerson and post-grad jobs I knew she was a stellar photographer and the zine seemed logical and organic but when she announced last year she had an album of music to release I was pleasantly surprised. Where did that voice come from Ariel? And when did you learn the ukulele?
On August 11th she released her self titled sophomore album with cover art by fellow Ryerson grad Becky Comber. You can listen to Ariel’s tunes on myspace and purchase them on itunes.
Show Crush: Qwill, Cilla Bonnie, Ariel Rubin at the Lizard Lounge
[+ Show ]
Tonight Qwill will be performing at the second show of his October residency at the Lizard Lounge. T...Tonight Qwill will be performing at the second show of his October residency at the Lizard Lounge. The word on everyone’s lips after seeing or hearing Qwill is “heart”, as in, he writes and sings directly from the heart, and bravely goes places that many songwriters would approach with trepidation. Make sure you bring enough for merch, this guy’s recordings are absolutely magnificent. Opening the show will be Ariel Rubin, with her fresh approach to a rootsy sound all based on her ukelele, an instrument that has a special place in her heart, and it shows. Cilla Bonnie will be closing out the show with her band, with whom she is finishing up a new recording to be out “ASAP”. She floored one of my fellow bloggers with her solo set on the bass and keys at Precinct on Sunday, which was no surprise.
On the Verge: Ariel Rubin
[+ Show ]
Every week at 4:15pm WERS highlights an artist we feel is up and coming in our “On The Verge” series...Every week at 4:15pm WERS highlights an artist we feel is up and coming in our “On The Verge” series. Today we are going to be featuring singer-songwriter, Ariel Rubin! Ariel is orginally from Victoria, British Columbia, but now she calls Boston her home! Ariel got her start in music at a young age and by her teen years was playing the violin and trombone and had become a part of a jazz program. Unfortunately, Ariel spent many years battling a chronic illness, but it was music that helped her through it. Around this time she also picked up the ukulele. Ariel notes this as another instrument that really helped her get through the dark time and she says “it offered [her] a way to talk to [her] demons”.
In 2009 Ariel recorded a demo of fifteen tracks and recieved an unexpected amount of praise. This led her to release it in full in 2010. After this she permanatley moved to Boston and started working alongside producer Mike Davidson. Davidson helped Ariel further expand and work on her sound. She also worked with Duke Levine, Adam Frederick and Steve Scully. Along with these talents and Davidson, Ariel went on to release her first fully produced EP, Big Spoon, last July.
Ariel counts artists like Neil Young, Fiona Apple, John Lennon, Tori Amos, and Arcade Fire among others as influences and is currently playing shows in and around Boston. She plans to release her first full length album later this year. Make sure to tune into WERS today at 4:15pm to hear an exclusive interview and performance from the talented Ariel Rubin!
ALLSTON PUDDING INTERVIEWS: ARIEL + THE UNDERTOW & CHRIS NORTH
[+ Show ]
Hannah Lowry: You guys have a really interesting sound. I thought I figured everything out, then the...Hannah Lowry: You guys have a really interesting sound. I thought I figured everything out, then the song changed and I got thrown off. So where’d your inspiration come from?
Ariel: Okay so it’s a bit of a three way intersection between old folk from the ‘60s and ‘70s, 1930s jazz and 70s rock.
So you said you’re from around here, do you tour around here? Have you done bigger tours?
Ariel: Yeah we did a national tour last year, but lately it’s just been a lot of local shows, kind of around here. We just put out a record in January, so right now we’ve just been sort of building. We started playing just a few venues and are slowly circling out. Particularly we’ve been opening for Mac Demarco and Calvin Love.
You also have a great singing voice, when did you start singing and writing?
Ariel: Thank you! I grew up in a really musical family. When I was in a baby, my mom would just put me in the middle and they’d just all sing, and I think I absorbed a lot of it. But I seriously started singing when I was 15. I was in this intensive jazz program in high school. After 4 years, I stopped and didn’t play any music for about 8 years, and then I got back into it. And that’s when I really started writing.
So when did the band form?
Ariel: Well the band has just been evolving. I put this record out in January, and up until that point, I’d been going under my own name, Ariel Reuben, and I sort of re-routed the project with the band and these guys started playing with me. It’s been growing, then I played with these guys. They’re great fun.
Last question, with your sound, if you could open for one band, who would it be?
Ariel: Ah okay that’s so hard- can I do top three? I’d have to say Fiest, Wilco and Bright Eyes.
Only in French
I Have No Music
Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Iron & Wine cover
Mama I'm Leaving
Hot N Cold - Katy Perry cover
Kindness From Strangers
Oh I Wish
Take Me Home
The Loneliest Sea
I am a Sinner
COVERS for older demographic or quieter venue
Miss Ohio - Gillian Welch
Orphan Girl - Gillian Welch
Sweet Lorraine - Patty Griffin
Angel From Montgomery - John Prine
There are no upcoming dates at this time.