Reuben and the Dark
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Reuben and the Dark

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | MAJOR

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | MAJOR
Band Folk Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



""Hearing Reuben Bullock’s expansive vision of the human heart...""

"You may be one of the few cognoscenti who have heard of Reuben Bullock, in which case pat yourself on the back for being ahead of the curve. If you’re like the rest of us, consider yourself in for a treat: the few bloggers and writers who’ve discovered him are predicting huge things for this young Calgarian. His two albums were recorded in conjunction with some of Calgary’s finest (producers Lorrie Matheson and Jay Crocker, bassist Scott Munro, drummer Chris Dadge, keyboardist Steve Fletcher) and have evoked comparisons to great American songwriters like Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Bright Eyes himself, Connor Oberst.

-Calgary Folk Festival - Calgary Folk Festival

"Man Made Lakes Top 5 Calgary Albums for 2012"

1. Man Made Lakes

"A stunning pronouncement from the artist who now performs under the Reuben and the Dark moniker. Bullock’s haunting voice is a lamplit caravan that wanders the moonlit landscapes — the cool rolling hills and the sweet breeze valleys— of roots and rock and country and pop. It’s not surprising he’s caught the attention of Florence + The Machine’s people, who will ensure that there are many around the world who will fall in love with his earthen, soothing sound."
- Calgary Herald

- Calgary Herald

""The band is poised to take-off internationally...""

Reuben Bullock is a Calgary based musician known locally as a phenomenal roots/folk singer/songwriter. His latest project – Reuben and the Dark, incorporates a full band rounded out by Scott Munro (bass), Distance Bullock (drums), and Shea Alain (guitar). Following the release of Man Made Lakes and the recent completion of successful European tour with buzz-making live shows, the band is poised to take-off internationally. With favorable comparisons to Arcade Fire, Bright Eyes, and Noah and The Whale, and a folk/rock style that thrives on poetic lyrics, four-part harmonies, and rich sonic structures, Reuben and the Dark is definitely a band to watch; take a listen to amazing standouts “Bow and Arrow“, “How to Fight”, and “Avails of Loneliness.”
– Written by SMarx - Record Dept

""We go over the mountains and under the stars""

"The end of the year is quickly approaching and I have been trying to work my way through albums released in the past year that may have gotten lost in the ever-unavoidable shuffle. My favourite find of the last month is Man Made Lakes, an album which was released way back in January by a promising Calgary-based band that goes by Reuben and the Dark. Fronted by Reuben Bullock, the group’s four-part vocal harmonies already pack such an emotional punch on record — I can’t even begin to imagine what the experience might be like live. My heart nearly stopped when I first watched the above video of them performing the tracks “Broken Arrow” (the album’s opener) and “A Memory’s Lament” for Southern Souls. That is how it is done. Damn.

Download the studio version of “Bow and Arrow” below as well as the slow-building, soul-crushing “We Belong”. This album is a stunner."
-Music vs. Misery - Music vs. Misery

""Bullock's voice is intimate and immediate...""

"Less is more" is a phrase that's long been linked with punk rock, although it certainly wasn't coined by the punk movement. Calgary singer-songwriter Reuben Bullock may be far removed from punk on a sonic level, but he absolutely gets the “less-is-more” thing on the most primal and essential level. He also gets that if you're going to strip away all but the most essential elements, your songs better be pretty darn good to start with.

Thankfully, most of the 11 songs on Bullock's debut are pretty darn good, and the handful that aren't are absolutely great. All are presented with minimal adornment and just enough arrangement to keep it engaging throughout. Bullock's voice is intimate and immediate; note-perfect to deliver his testaments and make them resonate. He somehow manages to evoke some of the greatest folk singers without even once sounding imitative. Bandmates Ben and Arron Bullock creep in where necessary and producer Jay Crocker coaxes the subtlest possible performances out of some of Cowtown's finest (Scott Munro, Chris Dadge and Steve Fletcher). When a full drum kit knocks in on "Devil's Time," it seems organic. When the drums are replaced by a stirring string quartet on the following tune, "Paper Trail," it seems perfectly appropriate.

It’s no small feat to create a minimalist folk album that even a jaded, aging punk rocker can listen to without once wishing for any additional instrumentation, texture or even a single extra note. When everything is this right, nothing else is needed or wanting. Except maybe another disc of tunes, hopefully sooner rather than later."
-FFWD Weekly - FFWD Weekly

""Sing-along anthems that ebb and flow like the ocean""

"Sing-along anthems that ebb and flow like the ocean, highway dreams that feel like a big rig in the prairie night, soaring harmonies, freedom rock — hearing Reuben Bullock’s expansive vision of the human heart, you can almost feel the slow-motion wind in your hair, the honest sun on your skin."
-Sled Island - Sled Island

""It was hard to not want more for these hometown boys...""

“Most bands, when starting out, are collecting their onstage persona and gelling as a band. Reuben and The Dark present no bullshit: they are making hardy, well-rounded songs to enrich audiences’ ears and it all works beautifully. Closing their set with a most fitting “Once Upon a Time,” it was hard to not want more for these hometown boys and their folk goodness they put into the local music scene.”
-Beatroute Magazine
- Beatroute Magazine

"Calgary’s own Reuben Bullock stuns with new album “Pulling Up Arrows”"

Reuben Bullock is one, if not best, of Calgary’s best unknown “known” talent. While having a robust and dedicated following in the local scene here in Calgary, Bullock is definitely slated for bigger things.

After sitting down with Reuben over a coffee you realize he is someone dedicated to his art. He is staunchly Canadian in spirit and is a patient and well thought out young musician. He is protective of the local art scene and supports local endeavors like the “Market Collective” that strive to bring the local scene out to both socialize and gain strength and support from each other. Truly an admirable trait these days that he isn’t in it to be a star – too bad someone didn’t tell that to his passion for crafting quality songs.

Overall, the album was loosely released in a few months back (mid 2010), it is one of the best finds I have had recently and not so recently. Unfortunately the album looks to only be available locally in a short run pressing but hopefully things are in the works to bring his music to more Canadians and hell, even the world. His never wavering voice and amazing acoustic sessions do translate to the recording of Pulling Up Arrows, but some that are familiar to Bullock might think the album is “louder” or “fuller” than some of his stripped down, gut wrenching performances. I am caught somewhere in the middle as I am always one for the lone troubadour but can appreciate the work put into creating a full album with some range. You might find this fuller sound in songs like “Devils Time” and “Pendulum Sun”, but where it really gets great for me are the tracks like “The Rain”, “Haunted”, “Eli” and even “Brother” (of which he has 2 that also enjoy talent in the music making arena).

After the above songs noted that find Bullock solo with a guitar, you have to get on board with him…especially if you find yourself reading this particular blog. The tracks are catchy, but not in a cliche way, they are well thought out, performed with conviction and can be repeat listens without feeling like they get “worn out’. Overall, the album has such high points that the parts that I find “only pretty damn good” qualify this for what could be a best of the year in Canadian Music. I know local bloggers tend to lean towards their local talent for such claims, but this time I just might be right.


""a Calgary based song writer whose songs bleed passion and honesty""

With the never-ending number of music blogs posting songs on the daily, I’m not sure if anyone cares “where” they first heard about an artist anymore. Hell, with aggregators and RSS feeds, I’m not sure most people even know, but it’s still a source of pride for any blogger traveling off the beaten path. Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of Reuben Bullock – a Calgary based song writer whose songs bleed passion and honesty – and without the digging of Calgary based blog, Slowcoustic, I never would have.

Pulling Up Arrows is a record that showcases Bullock’s voice, one as malleable as copper and almost as easily worn and weathered. Whether it’s delivering emotion heavy tales over picked notes or transforming into a more fleshed out, full band front man, Bullock seems comfortable and confident. Opening with “These Hands”, Bullock uses a swell on the chorus to grab the listener tight and the next ten to explore J. Tillman like, hushed offerings (“Haunted”), Conor Oberst worthy narratives (“Part 1?), chugging roots anthems (“Devils Time”), and even radio ready songs destined for bigger CBC audiences (the string laden “Paper Trail” and the beautiful “The Rain”).

The fact that a virtually unknown singer (to those outside the Calgary borders) can effortlessly draw comparisons to some of the biggest name in roots/folk music today speaks volumes, but the fact he doesn’t ever try to fit into a easily defined label or limit his creativity is what is truly staggering. It’s hard to imagine the same songwriter penned the gospel, funeral ode “Open Grave” and “Pendulum Sun”; a song that starts as a traditional roots rocker, but Bullock’s voice and arrangement lets him speak to an audience that would have David Gray records displayed proudly on their shelves. At the end of the day, Reuben only wants to write songs that connect with people, and by balancing pure emotion with surprisingly addictive melodies, he does just that. -


"Man Made Lakes" is the new album from singer-songwriter Reuben Bullock. A sonically rich and finely-textured recording, Bullock effortlessly connects the dots between such touchstones as Bruce Springsteen, Connor Oberst/Bright Eyes, and Neil Young. The album was recorded by producer Lorrie Matheson (Samantha Savage Smith, Ghostkeeper, Rae Spoon) in a small garage studio in Calgary, mostly as a live band, often in a single take. This comes as no surprise, however, as Bullock's band is comprised of some of the finest musicians around. Multi-instrumentalist Scott Munro (Chad van Gaalen, Ghostkeeper), Distance Bullock (whose background in hardcore bands Bring Fire and the Illustrated does nothing to prepare one for the delicate and inventive percussion work featured here), and guitarist Shea Alain round out the ensemble. This quartet has been quickly building a reputation as a killer live band, their soaring four-part vocal hamonies achieving epic heights, always leaving crowds hungry for more. And at the core of all this sits Bullock's songs, which manage to achieve a balance between seemingly disparate elements: the introspective with the anthemic, and the feat of sounding simutaneously ancient and uniquely contemporary. This is undeniably an artist poised for success, and every step of the journey is as exciting as witnessing what will come next.

"Pulling up Arrows" was Reuben's debut album. It was recorded in Jan. of 2010. SInce its independent release, the record has been circling Canada with the help of college radio as well as CBC, CKUA and RAWLCO stations.



Reuben and the Dark is the newest project from Calgary's Reuben Bullock. The quartet weaves together sounds and vocal harmonies that create an unexpected texture that finds ways of translating the confusing language of emotion into song and melody; sounding simultaneously ancient and uniquely contemporary. Recently brought to London by Mariead Nash (Manager of Florence and the Machine/Blood Orange), the band has returned from Europe with a new release in tow.