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“Olympic Girls is overall a dazzling achievement and serves as testament to Fullbrook’s remarkable talent that will no doubt resonate with many.”– STACK
“The strings that murmur and howl throughout will truly shine on your fifth spin of what is sure to be one of the standout folk-pop releases of 2019” – Australian Guitar
“Lush and alive, this is the bold next step that Fullbrook and her collaborators have been working towards. It proves well worth the wait.”– The Big Issue ★★★★
Tiny Ruins, originally conceived as the solo project of New Zealand singer-songwriter Hollie Fullbrook, are releasing their third album Olympic Girls on February 1st via Milk! Records. Catch Tiny Ruins tour Australia this April and May.
A rare blend of eloquent lyrical craft and explorative musicianship, the songs of Tiny Ruins are etched into the memories of crowds and critics worldwide. Traversing influences that cross genre and era, the artistry of Hollie Fullbrook and her band spans delicate folk, lustrous dream pop and ebullient psychedelia.
Building on the sparse arrangements and “a novelist’s eye for detail” (Uncut) cultivated over the past several years, the group’s greatly anticipated third album is replete with vital lyricism and galvanising rhythms. Sparkling electric guitar jangles pull against the unique thrum of Fullbrook’s acoustic as the cryptic poetry she is known for rings out.
Comprising a taut and agile quiver of songs, the record – due for release in a few months’ time – dances with explorative instrumentation and a buoyant pop sensibility that fizzes with life.
Hollie Fullbrook is no stranger to acclaim. Debut LP Some Were Meant For Sea (2011) saw her name on billboards, playlists and blogs worldwide. The album’s clutch of “gorgeous vignettes” put the artist on the map, and she took to the road from her home in New Zealand to tour extensively through the UK, Europe and North America – a passage repeated many times since.
Second album Brightly Painted One earned more accolades, championed by the New York Times, NPR and David Lynch, and winning Best Alternative Album at the New Zealand Music Awards in 2014. “An album of quiet, devastating beauty,” wrote Pop Matters. The album saw Fullbrook join forces with producer Tom Healy, whom, alongside long-time tourmate bassist Cass Basil and drummer Alex Freer, Fullbrook has worked and toured with ever since.
Olympic Girls was produced by bandmate Tom Healy in the same underground space (Paquin Studios at The Lab in hometown Auckland) as their 2014 album, Brightly Painted One. Whereas Brightly Painted One was recorded in three short weeks, Olympic Girls recordings took place over a year. It is the culmination of a flourish of spontaneity and experimentation and stridently reaches beyond Fullbrook’s formerly minimalist domain. Olympic Girls is Tiny Ruins‘ first release since their 2016 single “Dream Wave“, which was recorded and produced by David Lynch and chosen by Lorde for theHunger Games soundtrack blueprint she curated.
Early 2019 will see the release of album three. Patiently built in the same underground lair as Brightly Painted One, the album was made over a drawn out period of spontaneity and experimentation, stridently reaching beyond Fullbrook’s formerly minimalist domain. Production from Tom Healy and Fullbrook is exercised with muscular aplomb; marrying the intricately woven poetics of Leonard Cohen, the shimmering dream-pop landscapes of Beach House or Mazzy Star, and the off-kilter experimental pop of Broadcast or John Cale.
Exhilaration persists throughout the record as Fullbrook commands a series of songs marrying the ordinary with the outlandish, the metaphysical with the mundane. Every track is coiled with the potent energy of a band enraptured in performance, while Fullbrook’s lithe voice slips between characters with a gentle yet urgent fluidity rarely seen in the climate of modern music. A sardonic humour is laced throughout as Fullbrook explores the absurdity of a life travelled in song.
“How much would you be willing to give?”Fullbrook asks point-blank in first single ‘How Much’, ahead of woozily discordant strings and a stomping neo-psychedelic rhythm. The lyric brims with imagery of supermarket breakdowns, lilos, snarks and silos while an anthemic guitar hook soars throughout. Not content to leave the song at a stable conclusion, a thumping ‘I am the Walrus’-esque bass outro propels the track boomerang-style back to a space of adroit experimentation.
Tiny Ruins, originally conceived as the solo project of New Zealand singer-songwriter Hollie Fullbrook, are releasing their third album Olympic Girls on Friday 1st February 2019 via Milk! Records / Remote Control Records. After sharing the lead single of the same name, Tiny Ruins has now shared ‘School of Design’. It was recorded live, with the full band of Cass Basil on bass, Alex Freer on drums and Tom Healy on electric guitar in their hometown of Auckland. ‘School of Design’ is an achingly haunting refrain, inspired by a moment of reflection on tour.
“The lyrics came from a real experience where I did find myself wandering around an empty design school in a foreign city while on tour. That’s where the imagery of the fresh white paint on the walls and the ‘archives’ comes from, as that’s what I saw there. I wrote the song maybe two years later. You draw from experiences to articulate other feelings, other thoughts…a cinematic image that you know well is used to give life to something else, another feeling altogether.
It’s a song about systems, about the confining nature of systems, and wanting to find a new way. It was written quickly, and I loved the guitar part from the get go, but I resisted its lyrics for a while – I felt it was too similar to another song of mine – “Me at the Museum, You in the Wintergardens” which is also about an institution, and about escaping from regimented regime. But in the end, I became happy with it.”
Olympic Girls was produced by bandmate Tom Healy in the same underground lair (Paquin Studios atThe Lab in hometown Auckland) as their 2014 album, Brightly Painted One. Whereas Brightly Painted One was recorded in three short weeks, Olympic Girls recordings took place over a year. It is the culmination of a flourish of spontaneity and experimentation and stridently reaches beyond Fullbrook’s formerly minimalist domain. Olympic Girls is Tiny Ruins’ first release since their 2016 single ‘Dream Wave’, which was recorded and produced by David Lynch and chosen by Lorde for the Hunger Games soundtrack blueprint she curated.