Bitter Ruin – Waves
Waves is the new album from Kickstarted Brighton duo Georgia Train and Ben Richards. Having appealed to fans for £20,000 towards building a recording studio back in March of last year, funds were raised within only 12 hours and ultimately far exceeded the total. Luckily, Bitter Ruin provide value for money. Although termed by some as “dark cabaret”, Train and Richards draw from classical influences alongside the musical ambition of Jeff Buckley through to the atmospheric and soaring gothic of Kate Bush to find a rather unique sound that’s impossible to pigeonhole.
Already having accrued plenty of celebrity backing – Steven Fry has sung their praises; Ben Folds, Tim Minchin and Elton John have also leant support to the couple’s burgeoning music career – and a hardcore following built up from their remarkable and intensely gripping live shows, Waves comes as an appeal for a wider audience.
The album opens with lead single Diggers, echoing Imogen Heap, and is followed by latest release Love Gone Left, which recalls Rumours era Fleetwood Mac at times. The pair exhibit their opulence on tracks Stampede and Tom Thumb, the best possible assault on the senses, rooted in a bombastic theatricality that evokes Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera as Train and Richards vocally cross swords.
Yet Bitter Ruin prove just as adept at understatement on the scaled down Pushin’ Out the Light and old fan favourite A Brand New Me, which closes the album and allows Train to demonstrate her vulnerability. The jewel in the crown, however, is another slight reworking of a previously recorded track, Child in a Seacave, in which Train jerks from scorned woman to yearning siren and back, your heartstrings in hand throughout.
Leather for Hell proves the one minor misstep, an extravagance too far, but Bitter Ruin’s creativity and intensity, a chemistry and overwhelming passion for their craft ultimately shine through. Whether Waves can be the duo’s entry into more mainstream recognition remains to be seen, but it’s sure to leave a lasting impression on those that take the plunge.
Waves is released on 12th May 2014, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Love Gone Left here: