NME Australia cover star Ruel has shared a stripped-down snippet of a heartrending new track (the title of which is currently unknown), which Brisbane indie-pop outfit Cub Sport has since revealed was a collaborative effort.
- READ MORE: Ruel: “I was listening to a lot of sad music, thinking, ‘What am I even doing?’ I felt a bit useless”
The London-born, Sydney-raised pop upstart Tweeted a clip of himself performing the cut on Friday (July 30), teasing in the caption that it would appear on his forthcoming debut album. He wrote: “usually i would never post an unreleased song but ive been dragging this album out long enough sooo.”
Cub Sport retweeted the video yesterday (July 31), confirming the new track was a co-write between Ruel and themselves. “Loooove this song I got to write with [Ruel] last month,” they said.
— CUB SPORT (@cubsportmusic) July 30, 2021
The post followed an update on Ruel’s album earlier in the week, where he Tweeted: “feels like ive written a million songs for this album but im still chipping away at it coz i want it to be great for u guys and its still so fun writing everyday. sorry its taking so long, anyway, brief update: ‘undecided album title’ coming soon.”
Ruel shared his first slice of solo material for 2021 – the standalone single ‘Too Many Feelings’ – back in February. It came as the follow-up to his third EP ‘Bright Lights, Red Eyes’, which he released last October via RCA / Sony. It featured the singles ‘Say It Over’, ‘As Long As You Care’ and ‘Distance’.
Speaking to NME upon the EP’s release, Ruel noted a keenness to evolve on his musicality, hinting that his forthcoming material would be more experimental than previous releases.
“I’ve been writing a lot more… I wouldn’t say experimental, ’cause I don’t really know how to produce, and a lot of the sound comes with the production. But in terms of songwriting, melodies and chords, I’ve definitely been straying away from what I usually do,” he said. “I’m scared to send them to my manager! Just let me flesh them out a bit more first.”
Last November, Ruel said he’d begun working on a screamo and grime-influenced track, telling ELLE: “I put on a guitar pedal distortion, cranked it the fuck up, and put on, like a grime accent. I just did, like, a screamo, grime, Slowthai thing. It was, like, a minute. The lyrics were so disgusting, but in the best way possible.”
Earlier this year, Cub Sport reissued their 2016 debut album, ‘This Is Our Vice’, with the previously unreleased track ‘Future’. The band released their fourth LP, ‘Like Nirvana’, last July, flanked by the singles ‘Confessions’, ‘I Feel Like I Am Changin’ and ‘Be Your Man’.
In a five-star review, NME writer Annabel Ross said ‘Like Nirvana’ was Cub Sport’s “most stunning LP yet”, saying: “[Songwriter Tim] Nelson has achieved transcendence on ‘Like Nirvana’, building his own church where queer love, begetting self-love, is something sacred and unassailable.”
NME also ranked ‘Like Nirvana’ ninth in its list of the best Australian albums of 2020, with writer Nick Buckley saying: “The album is Nelson’s multifaceted expression of what a spiritual life can provide when it’s unshackled from the shame and guilt so often inflicted by organised religion. ‘Like Nirvana’ is literally transcendent.”
Cub Sport followed the album up on Christmas Eve last year, dropping a full-length live recording of it.