Soon enough Denver-based Rubyfruit will drop their first EP, Half Moon on August 5. That same day the duo will be out and about on tour with Evening Darling through the 13th. Jenny and Kate talked about the interesting item they’ll have on the road, the personalities of Half Moon and more…
Kendra: Was is music that brought you two together, or did your friendship come about another way?
Jenny: We both went to the same college, but didn’t really know each other then. When we went back for a reunion we ran into each other and started talking. We found out that we were both living in NYC, so we started hanging out. Our first summer together we wrote songs while we sat on the fire escape looking over Union Avenue in Brooklyn. I shared some music I wrote with Kate, she came out with these incredible harmonies and we thought we had something going on.
Kendra: When you two first got together and started making music, was your style elsewhere or did you instantly glide into an Americana?
Rubyfruit: I think that the harmonies have a lot to do with the Americana feel, so at first the songs themselves weren’t necessarily that specific style. As we started harmonizing more and more some of our songwriting evolved into Americana. It also felt interesting at a time when tensions in America are so high to delve into traditional elements but with a dash of madness.
Kendra: Which is what we’ll hear on your debut EP, Half Moon. Based on your personalities, can people that know you well spot who worked more on which song?
Rubyfruit: What an interesting question! I’m not sure our friends can tell. We tend to work really collaboratively, so sometimes we even arrive at melodies together. Our journey around the country last year could sometimes be tough, but one of the most interesting parts was settling into our writing style as a duo. We find that the most fascinating sounds happen when we go off on our own and write something and then bring it to the other and see how it can change in the other person’s hands.
Kendra: We have to talk about one song on the record, “Daddy Long Legs.” Because spiders are a common fear, I have to ask what spooks you?
Rubyfruit: That song actually has nothing to do with spiders! We were recording a rough cut of the song outside in the woods in Nashville, Indiana and while we were playing we spotted a daddy long legs spider crawling around. I actually think those particular spiders are kind of awkward and cute but then also captivating because they carry very powerful venom but their mouth is too small to administer it in a way that would be harmful to humans!
Kendra: You got a tour coming up at the beginning of August. Obviously, fans are going to hear some Half Moon, but any possible covers making the setlist?
Rubyfruit: On tour, we’ll be covering “12:30” by the Mamas and the Papas and “Sunshine Go Away Today” by Jonathan Edwards. Around election time 2016 we started thinking about protest songs. We wondered why there are few protest anthems right now and started researching and learning some from the 1960’s and ’70s in the US. It was crazy to us how the lyrics of many of the songs were directly pertinent even 40 years later. This at first brought up grief that many things have remained the same, but also gave way to a certain healthy heartache that the human struggle for voice and representation is timeless and that there should always be a fight for it.
Kendra: Also, what is the one kind of odd thing you have to take on the road when it’s time to tour?
Rubyfruit: Bouncy balls.
Kendra: After the album and tour at the start of August, what’s next?
Rubyfruit: We want to amp up our local gigging in Denver, and work on more new songs! We just found an amazing drummer in Denver who invented a set that allows him an incredible range of sound so we are so excited to possibly pare our sound down to vocal duo and percussion for our next album and record it here in Denver.
Kendra: Heading out on the road soon, you’re going to need some music. If you had to make an “August Tour” mixtape right now, what five songs would make the cut right away?
Rubyfruit: Oh nooooo! We can’t narrow it down any further than this!
Lizzo: “Good as Hell”
Tune Yards: “Bizness”
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down: “Beat (Health, Life, and Fire)”
Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment: “Sunday Candy”
Christine and the Queens: “Tilted”
Scissor Sisters: “Let’s Have a Kiki“