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July 13, 2024

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Rececca Gates
Ruby Series (Badman)

By: Alex Steininger

Gates, the former front woman and engine behind the Northwest's undeniable rock threat The Spinanes (Sub Pop), has finally decided to give up the band and go solo. Long the last remaining member of The Spinanes (not hard when it was originally a duo), the recent years has seen her expanding the band and playing out as a four-piece. In that time she has also played many solo shows as Rebecca Gates, and the time was overdue for her to record a solo album.

Ruby Series is the result. A beautifully layered, enchanting record that is more than a mere pop record. It is a lush, elaborate, heartening look into one of the indie world's smartest songwriters, a woman who sheds her skin to paint portraits of life and love, lived and lost, through gentle, faint instrumentation and a soaring voice that could make even the hardest of men weep.

Finally coming full circle, the once rocker girl strips her songs down to nothing more than the main guitar and airy accompaniments, giving the listener a direct path to each song.

Rebecca Gates, if she hasn't already, will earn her place in indie rock with Ruby Series. It is filled with immense beauty and passion, lightly sprinkled with percussion, bass, and other things that give the songs a vibrant, lush coat, while always remaining open and stripped down, nothing more than the sounds Gates hears in her head and her sailing voice that navigates the songs. I'll give it an A-.15

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