22 Oct 2021
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Tiny Ruins - Haunts EP Review

16 May 2013 // A review by Tony McDonald

Holes In My Pockets is the first song from the Tiny Ruins EP and sets the tone extremely well. I must stress that you really need to be in the correct mood for this song and thankfully, I was. From the haunting voice of Hollie Fullbrook to the clever key changes I really enjoyed this song a lot. It was definitely a glass of red wine moment rather than champagne or beer, if you get what I mean. A great composition, well recorded (on an 8 track as well), and bass played with finesse by Cass Basil.

I am a huge fan of Anthony and the Johnsons and this had similarities with the vocals and the dreamy feel.

However the EP didn’t have any other stand out moments for me. The rest of the songs are more of the same. I would have liked to have heard a couple of more upbeat tracks on the EP as the slowness can drag after a few listens, and some listeners may even find it depressing.

If you enjoy relaxing to good soft music on a Sunday afternoon then this may just fit the bill.

 

About Tiny Ruins

Tiny Ruins are a band based in Auckland, New Zealand. Conceived in 2009 by songwriter Hollie Fullbrook to describe her solo output, the group now includes Cass Basil, Alex Freer & Tom Healy. Traversing early influences of folk and blues, Tiny Ruins’ sound draws on ethereal and grungy soundscapes alike. Sometimes likened to Nick Drake, Mazzy Star or Nico, Fullbrook’s voice and guitar work evades cliché, making use of alternate tunings by way of her own self-styled fingerpicking. Lyrically one of a kind, stories are laced with a dark humour that is at times disarmingly confessional, at others, cryptic and philosophical.

Fullbrook was born in Bristol, England, before moving to New Zealand with her family at the age of ten and settling in West Auckland. She learnt the cello from a young age, picking the guitar up and writing songs in her early teenage years. Asked to support Alasdair Roberts in Sydney, May 2010, she was signed to Australian indie label Spunk Records on the strength of some demos. Tiny Ruins’ debut Some Were Meant For Sea was released in 2011 and saw critical praise for its minimalist approach & lyrical flair. Recorded by Fullbrook and producer Greg ‘J’ Walker (Machine Translations) in a small hall in South Gippsland, the album was voted 2011’s Album of the Year by BBC World Service arts & culture programme ‘World of Music’ and was a finalist for New Zealand’s Taite Prize in 2012. Tours of New Zealand, Australia & Europe followed, with Fullbrook performing solo, and later as a duo with Cass Basil on upright bass, supporting The Handsome Family throughout the UK.

Joining forces with drummer Alex Freer, Tiny Ruins evolved into a three-piece, recording a bluesy EP, Haunts, together in the Waipu bush, before working with Tom Healy at The Lab in Auckland on their second album, Brightly Painted One. Championed by the New York Times, NPR and David Lynch, it won Best Alternative Album at the New Zealand Music Awards in 2014, and saw a joint release by labels Bella Union, Spunk Records and Flying Nun.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tiny Ruins

Releases

Olympic Girls
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Olympic Girls Solo (Acoustic)
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Hurtling Through
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Brightly Painted One
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Haunts
Year: 2013
Type: EP
Some Were Meant For Sea
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Little Notes
Year: 2010
Type: EP

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