#RECENTMEMORY // RUTH GARBUS - Rendezvous With Rama (Autumn Records, 2010)
Back in early 2010, Autumn Records quietly released a compact disc by resolute Vermonter & former Feather, Ruth Garbus called Rendezvous With Rama. Housed in a tasteful disc-sized cardboard envelope with one-color silkscreened artwork and handwritten text, Rendezvous With Rama was exactly as it presented: understated as shit but really knowing exactly what it was doing. Comprised of eight reverberant guitar & vocal lullabies, Rendezvous is similar to Garbus’ contributions during her Feathers days, but stripped bare of all that nouveau hippie affection that kind of plagued our freak folk days in the early-to-mid aughts. What is left is haunting to say the least and near perfection at it’s best. From the chilling opener “Falling Down To Earth” to the weirdly celebratory closing track “My Apple”, Garbus proves to be a master at working with what she’s got. Shaky vocals, a simple-if-slightly-insecure strum, and an undeniably cool guitar tone, most of what’s so engaging about Rendezvous is the entire album feels revelatory, like a songwriter learning new facets of her power in each successive song. It’s an album that both hits on first listen and allows you to growth with it over time, never once losing grasp of the subtlety that is it’s biggest allure.
For the past few years, Ruth’s been living in the shadow of her older sister Merrill, who has garnered considerable success releases records under a name you might recognize, but really, this music is meant for the shadows so I guess I’m okay with that. Now, if someone would just reissue this gem on LP I might be able to sleep more soundly at night.
#RECENTMEMORY is a series focused on revisiting records/bands/labels/scenes/stuff of only the relatively recent past. Think late-90s thru yesterday.