After two long years, Athens native Ruby Kendrick has released her second album, New as Dew, under the moniker Ruby the RabbitFoot. Her sophomore album exhibits an evolved sound, but remains soft and relaxed, since her first album in 2012, No Weight No Chain.
“New as Dew” and “Ways” are two personal favorites of the new album. “Ways” is accompanied by a vivid music video featuring flowers and solo shots; it is sweet and bright, like her awesome bangs. No doubt, Ruby’s southern heritage comes through in her guitar sound, but her simple voice appeals to modern listeners.
Ruby the RabbitFoot will soon be an essential Athens artist to add to your summer playlist. This year, she plays on hometown soil for Athfest. Although this is only her second album, there are sure to be more to come…at least we hope.
Vinyl Mag: You’re from Brunswick/Saint Simons Island [Georgia], right? How long have you been involved with the Athens music scene? How do you judge Athens as a platform for artists?
Ruby Kendrick: I am from Brunswick/ Saint Simons. It’s a one of a kind place. I’ve been involved in the Athens music scene since 2011. I think Athens is a great place to make music. Cheap cost of living and a supportive community.
VM: In general, how has music been an important part of your life? When did you first know you wanted to make music?
RK: I’ve always loved to sing. Before I knew how to play guitar or piano, I would sing everywhere and anywhere. When I was in third grade, my dad got me a keyboard from radio shack. After that, it was all over.
VM: Do have any other creative outlets other than music?
RK: These days, I’m really into music video production. You can check them out at Cardio Barbie TV. Two more will be added later this summer.
VM: Who (or what) is your inspiration? Most of your sound is very soothing and light – what state of mind do you adopt, and what process do you go through to create a piece of music?
RK: It’s funny to think that my music is described as soothing and light. I might have to give credit to my band for that. They keep things sunny for me in general. Lyrically, I think the songs can get pretty dark… but that is a detail that folks can choose to acknowledge or ignore. I’m really inspired by pop music for the most part. Mostly female artists.
When I write a song, I’m not thinking about any of that. I’m kind of just vomiting something up. I don’t get to choose when, where or what. It just has to happen, and then I feel really good for a few days.
VM: It’s been two years since your first record, No Weight No Chain – what’s been happening in that time?
RK: O lawwwddd… Just getting knocked around by life mostly. The New As Dew era was a very happy one in the RabbitFoot world. I spent those two years (after NWNC) just focusing on the New songs and traveling a bit.
VM: How has your music evolved since 2012? What goals did you have for New as Dew?
RK: I think my voice has gotten stronger. I’m a very quiet singer…and it used to be even worse. I’m more confident in my live performance. I used to be terrified to play piano on stage – my fingers would shake violently.
My goal with New As Dew is to just stick with it as long as I can. I have a tendency to be ‘over it’ before anyone else hears it. I want to parade it around before moving on to the next album. Even though it feels like a part of my life that’s over, I want to share it.
VM: Of course, you have quite a following in Athens, which will surely be supporting you at Athfest. How is the local crowd compared to “out-of-towners?”
RK: Playing in Athens is like playing in front of your family. It’s much more nerve-racking, but much more rich. I want to make them proud.
VM: Have you been to Athfest before?
RK: This will be my third Athfest.
VM: What are you most looking forward to [at Athfest] this year?
RK: I want to see Kishi Bashi.
VM: Do you have plans for the rest of summer and the future, in general? Can we expect another album soon?
RK: This summer, I am touring as much as I can. I’ll be flying to California right after Athfest, then I’ll be looping down to Texas and up to Chicago this Fall.
You can definitely expect another RabbitFoot album. I’m very excited about the new songs and hope to develop them more this winter. I’d love to say that you can expect it in 2015, but time is slippery.
Jun 21 Athfest Hull St. Stage Athens, GA
Jul 05 CAMP OUTPOST Piru, CA
Jul 25 Green Room Athens, GA Tickets
Jul 29 The Beatnik New Orleans, LA
Jul 30 Mudd & Water Baton Rouge, LA
Jul 31 Mango’s Houston, TX
Aug 01 502 Bar San Antonio, TX
Aug 02 Holy Mountain Austin, TX
Aug 03 Wild Detectives Dallas, TX
Aug 21 King Dusko Charleston, SC
Aug 22 Sky City Augusta, GA
Aug 23 Green Room Athens, GA
Sep 03 Southgate House Revival Newport, KY
Sep 07 Daytrotter Rock Island, IL
Sep 10 Sugarlands Distilling Co. Gatlinburg, TN
Sep 26 Gram Parsons Festival Waycross, GA
Nikki grew up in an imitation German town in Georgia by the name of Helen. It wasn’t until middle school that she started to get interested in the arts: painting, music, and writing. She wrote in her diary, sketched in art class and listened to regretful music. By high school, her tastes became a little more refined. She found Fiona Apple, Lou Reed and Giant Drag, and they remain her favorites in college. She was accepted to the University of Georgia in 2012 and is currently majoring in English. Upon moving to Athens from a town with more trees than people, Nikki was a bit overwhelmed. However, there is certainly no lack of inspiration in Athens, and she appreciates its love for the arts and its service as a platform.