Rue Royale are an Anglo-American duo named after a suburban Chicago road near their previous home. The couple now reside in Nottingham - a handy midpoint for the extensive European and US touring they seem to be hooked on. Out today is “Halfway Blind”, a digital download and 7” vinyl on Need No Water Records, the first single to precede second album “Guide To Escape”.
Brookln (sic) and Ruth Dekker claim “a shared love of Fleetwood Mac, John Martyn and the northern UK soul of Doves and Elbow”. I can see where they are coming from but on this track I’m reminded of another married musical partnership. The intense Americana recalls The Handsome Family with the murder ballads and gothic quirkiness taken out. Instead Rue Royale hone in on dense melodic swirl to this darkly ambiguous song of (I think) devotion “I will travel distances until indeed everything is alright”.
The B-side ‘Say Now Would You’ (not on the forthcoming album) is a lighter, more hopeful tune. Its catchy acoustic strum and contrasting dark/light male and female vocals makes me think of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne on the more subdued moments of “The Suburbs” (but without the sense of impending apocalypse).
I might be pushing the husband-wife analogies too much but there's no getting away from the fact this is a fine, fine single. I look forward to how Rue Royale sound over a whole album come March. The recording for said album is complete but Rue Royale are looking for help to finance the manufacture and distribution of the record. If you pre-order “Guide to an Escape” direct from the band you will get an early, handmade version signed by the duo, a digital live EP and your name in the liner notes. All this for just £10 – more details on the Rue Royale website.
Rue Royale Halfway Blind [BUY]