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Getting Closer to Fine with “High & Dry” by Ruby Sparks

By Charlie Maybee

“It’s the end of the world as we know it” sings the Los Angeles based Indie rock band, Ruby Sparks, during the chorus of their new single “High & Dry”, “and I wish that I felt fine”. A nice ode to and subversion of classic lyrics of R.E.M. which takes a more pessimistic take on the state of world affairs.

As the second single off their upcoming California Honey EP, this is song is notable for its quiet and subtle vocal-and-piano verses that swell into massive choruses with stacked harmonies and electric drive. Compositionally, it feels very malleable – like it could transform at any moment and doesn’t hold any shape for too long. Like a roller coaster, you just have to hold on and let it carry you through the various highs and lows.

Lyrically there’s a clear sense of frustration with current events and as the song takes a sharp music left turn during the outro, it’s easy to recall how the pandemic caused massive shifts and pivots in everyone’s daily life. But there’s also a different sense of drive that comes from this detour, as if music becomes reenergized – ready to take on the complexities of the world and all its injustices.

“High & Dry” is available on major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Find this and more great tunes on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify.

Charlie Maybee

Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.

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