While at St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2020 in Melbourne, NME Australia sat down for a brief chat with Ruel, who discussed his hit song ‘Dazed & Confused’ and gave an update on his debut album, which is still in the works.
‘Dazed & Confused’, which Ruel released in 2018, was one of the first songs “I really ever wrote outside of Australia,” he recalled to NME Australia writer Josh Martin. He worked on the song in Los Angeles – in his first ever trip to the city – with his collaborator THIEF, with whom he wrote his 2017 songs ‘Don’t Tell Me’ and ‘Golden Years’, and another writer Sean Douglas.
Despite instantly loving the melodies they came up with for ‘Dazed & Confused’, Ruel wasn’t so sure about its production. “I didn’t really like the song because of the production a few days after we wrote it,” he recalled. “It was super simple and just very pop.” He credits his collaborator M-Phazes (who also worked on his infectious track ‘Painkiller’) with “dirtying” up the production by injecting rock guitar elements.
Elsewhere in the interview, Ruel revealed that he was a few weeks out from going to Bali to start on new music, which will be his main preoccupation for the coming months. He’s also likely to return to LA to “get every idea in [his head] out” to record his upcoming album, which will be his first full-length release.
Ruel also named electronic duo Cosmo’s Midnight as his favourite act from Sydney (besides himself), and shed some light on their friendship, which ignited at Groovin The Moo 2019. “I think their production is amazing and I like everything they touch,” he said. Ruel appeared on Cosmo’s Midnight’s latest single ‘Down For You’ – a collaboration that might not be their last.
NME Australia also caught up with Johnny Took from DMA’s at Laneway in Melbourne, and polled heaps of punters about everything from the artist they were most excited for to what they’d name their band if they had one.