Ruby Bones, “Heart Of Darkness”

JP Basileo

The concept of “going electric” in folk music has pretty much always transcended the simple inclusion of guitar pickups and amplification, but rather, has existed on a figurative level, infusing sound with physical energy. Such is clearly the case in New Jersey/Brooklyn three-piece (sometimes four-piece?) Ruby Bones, in their new video for “Heart of Darkness,” off their Self-Titled debut album, out May 12. A brisk three-chord strum-machine starts the song off, as gentle an introduction as you’ll get, before the full band blares in and you can practically see the lightning bolts coming through your speakers.But it’s not something you’d have to imagine anyway, with visuals, directed by Mike Cerisano, which alternate between a fun dockside live performance on a lake, and more gritty, VHS-style depictions of more gritty, VHS-style things. Bandmates discover a dead and/or incapacitated frontman Chris Nova, in a bathtub, and proceed to carry him to the same lake, to dump him in. The song itself is something eerily catchy, charming in a siren-like kind of way, which compliments the happenings on the screen quite well. The constant roll of a snare drum infuses enough tension and urgency to bolster Nova’s generous vocal range, entirely on its own, even when guitars have cut out. It lends its current to the jolting energy of the song, and the video on top.
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