Ruel has shared the first single from his upcoming debut album, an infectious pop anthem titled ‘You Against Yourself’.
- READ MORE: Ruel: “I was listening to a lot of sad music, thinking, ‘What am I even doing?’ I felt a bit useless”
The song is produced by Sammy Witte and M-Phazes, and sees the singer-songwriter embrace his pop-leaning tendencies with a euphoric earworm of a chorus. Disguised amid the frenetic rhythm are Ruel’s more sombre lyrics about overcoming self-sabotage, and letting someone know “that the direction they’re heading in isn’t healthy,” he said in a press statement.
“[You Against Yourself] is about someone in my life who has lots of self-destructing qualities…and even though it seems like there’s little hope and you feel helpless, you’re still rooting for them,” Ruel said.
The accompanying music video, directed by Grey Ghost, visually expands on the theme of self-sabotage, showcasing Ruel — who dons a colander headpiece — in multiple precarious situations, from a lonesome island rock to a one-person boxing match. Watch that below:
‘You Against Yourself’ is the first single to be lifted from Ruel’s forthcoming debut album. The as-yet untitled project will follow up the singer’s most recent EP, ‘Bright Lights, Red Eyes’, which was released in 2020. Speaking of the upcoming release in an interview with triple j, Ruel said the album was largely written during the pandemic.
“When COVID came along I honed in on my skills,” Ruel said. “[I] tried to write a bunch of shit and I felt myself getting a lot better…I felt a huge ownership over [the album], because a lot of it is more me than anything [else]… I’m really excited about this, more so than any other project I’ve done.”
The release of the single comes ahead of Ruel’s scheduled performance in Sydney next week. Taking to the Enmore Theatre on Tuesday (August 23), the free show was organised in lieu of Ruel’s appearance at Splendour in the Grass, with his planned set cancelled due to wet weather. The sold-out set next week will feature Ruel’s first-ever performance of ‘You Against Yourself’.
Aside from the album track ‘You Against Yourself’, Ruel has released a handful of standalone singles in recent months. In March of this year, he shared the acoustic-driven ‘Let The Grass Grow’, which followed earlier 2021 tracks ‘GROWING UP IS _____’ and ‘too many feelings’.