Nuha Ruby Ra
How To Move EP
Brace Yourself Records
Released March 5th
Nuha Ruby Ra, while not yet a household name, is already promising to be a force to be reckoned with. Her recent single release, Sparky, is a perfect taste of the EP, with shades of classic eighties synth-pop mixed in with something more darkly hypnotic.
As she intones bluntly about the joys of a secret affair and all the things the addressed subject loves about her over a pulsating synth, its the sound of someone putting the sexuality back into music in the most commanding way. Even when she describes things as a “fucking disaster,” there is a kind of cold relish to it.
In a world where so many artists seem to want to play it safe, its immediately apparent that there are many things that Nuha Ruby Ra is unafraid of, and there’s an eagerness for experimentation that gives How To Move the feel of a full-length album rather than an EP. The self-explanatory Intro acts as just that – rather than serving as simply “the first track,” the short instrumental sounds like a beckoning manicured finger gesturing towards an opening door. And what a world that opened door is – peppered with magick and twists and turns at each corner. Intro leads into Cruel, a multi-layered, jazz-tinged exploration which evokes Bjork at her most experimental. It’s apparent that Nuha Ruby Ra is very much an artist on her own, singular path though. Just as Intro did as the title suggests, midpoint At The Canyons Edge has the bracketed title Interlude, slicing into the middle of the record with a dreamy, almost ritualistic break from the more conventional songwriting of the rest of the record. The chanted vocals could be lifted straight from folk-horror ceremony, all beautiful and inviting but full of uncertainty.
The second half of the EP takes even more twists – Run Run is a seven-minute aural flashing light, pounding against a vocal that sounds both visionary and vengeful, while closer Cruel Ending feels like an ominous secret to wrap things up with. The titles have outlined the intro, the interlude and the ending, but, acting as mere sprawling yet minimal instrumental, we have no clue as to why the ending is cruel. But secrets and open ends are clearly a huge part of Nuha Ruby Ra’s world – first sketched out clearly on Sparky and then referenced repeatedly through the record. “I keep my addictions to myself,” she purrs on the confessional Erase Me leaving us wondering what else she is hiding, “the smell of you is heavy.”
Secrecy mixed in with blissful sexuality, Nuha Ruby Ra’s musical landscape is a dark forest of promises which sucks the listener right in to share her dreamlike state. And even with no idea where things could head, they’ll be very glad she did.
How To Move is released on Brace Yourself on March 5th. Pre-orders available here.
All words by Amy Britton. Find more on her archive here