Melbourne’s Ruby Mae makes an impactful and memorable return with her dynamic new song Hide and Seek
Clothed in rich, toneful guitars, soulful vocals, and powerful lyrics, Hide and Seek is the striking new single from Ruby Mae that is both dynamically beautiful and demanding of your attention. And so you should be paying attention, because this song marks a new chapter for the singer-songwriter and whatever is next to come is evidently going to be amazing.
The Melbourne-based indie-folk musician last week released her first single since 2019’s We sing together or not at all EP, an entirely acoustic six-track record that highlights Ruby Mae’s background of influences and range as a performer - with folk, soul, pop, and country elements shining through on the release. But a year-and-a-half on, we’re treated to a new side of Ruby with Hide and Seek debuting her full band sound.
With her brother Pat on guitar and bass and their friend Cam on drums, Ruby Mae opens Hide and Seek with the already new sound of her electric guitar, slowly sprinkling in the bass, guitar, and backing vocals over the opening verse. Ruby’s soulful vocals pierce through and cut deep over the new arrangement, particularly at the 1:25 mark where she sings “Well the countdown’s done, I’m coming for you. Three, two, one, have you got any clue?” over a dynamic shift and muted chords. It’s right here Ruby builds anticipation for what’s to come next in the same way you feel the adrenalin rush on the playground when you play the game of the track’s title. You feel the excitement as the seeker yells “ready or not here I come” and you do whatever it takes to stay quiet and out-of-sight.
But here, Ruby Mae isn’t counting down to something exciting, but rather something darker with more evil undertones. Ruby finishes the countdown in the pre-chorus before launching into the percussion-set chorus and continuing with the title’s theme:
Oh yeah this used to be fun but we’ve never played like this
Something’s got to be done
I got to cut you off before you think you’ve won
No more hide and seek for you
Upon asking Ruby Mae about the new release, she said “I really liked the idea of using the concept of the game, hide and seek, in a song. The elements of the hider and the seeker, the running and the chasing, and the countdown. So, when I had the inspiration/experience in my own life, I applied it to that concept. I knew that I wanted the song to have a dark, powerful, and evil undertone to it… which I think resulted in a pretty savage song”.
It was in fact due to the powerful, stronger imagery of Hide and Seek that Ruby turned the song into a full-band recording to achieve the impactful sound we hear today. And it’s here and throughout the song that Ruby nails it - from the attention demanding, soulful vocals, to the enrolment of a full-band to bring out the suspense and narrative of the song, and even to Ruby’s hopes to have listeners take away with them “a feeling of power, strength, and boldness” and that the song “brings out their inner badass and reminds them who they are.” I definitely feel that, and that’s what I love so much about this song.
And sending this one off with a final message from Ruby: “Thanks to my listeners, old and new. I appreciate you. And to my stage 4 lockdown peeps, we can do this. Sending love to you all!”