In the bustling music scene of the United Kingdom, particularly in the vibrant cities of Liverpool and Manchester, a trio has emerged, breaking through the noise with their distinctive sound. The Ruby Tears, consisting of Jim Sangster on bass, John Goodfellow on vocals and rhythm guitar, and Jeff Skellon on guitars, are more than just a band; they’re a testament to tenacity and innovation born out of the chaos of lockdown.
The story of The Ruby Tears began as a lockdown project between John and Jeff, evolving into a full-fledged musical journey with the addition of drums and bass. Drawing inspiration from a diverse range of guitar music spanning decades, their sonic exploration led them through the realms of late sixties west coast psych, glam, punk, new wave, and post punk. After a 3 ½ year odyssey marked by health challenges and personal changes, the trio has not only persevered but thrived, releasing 8 EPs and various singles.
Enter “Learn To Fly,” their latest single, released on October 27, 2023. The song is a departure from their usual power pop and post-punk style, offering a different sonic landscape. As I delved into this musical expedition, I found myself traversing two distinct worlds within the confines of a single song, with the world of uplifting and pulsating rhythms blending harmoniously with the world of deep contemplation.
“Learn To Fly” kicks off with a bold departure from the norm. The deep hum of the bass guitar dances with the gentle strokes of a semi-acoustic companion, setting an unconventional stage. The rhythm unfolds with subtle hits from the base drum, and at the 0:17 timestamp, John Goodfellow’s vocals, both mature and soothing, guided me into a lyrical journey that goes beyond the ordinary as he sings “a day before yesterday came, the day before we lost the flame, did you think we’ll kiss it all goodbye” introducing a thrilling yet deeply contemplative voyage.
At the 0:50 timestamp, a significant tempo shift reveals the song’s complete spectrum, leading me to a final destination where meditation and vibrance coalesce seamlessly. The guitar riffs between 3:13 and 3:30 unleash an audacious display of musical wizardry, leaving me utterly stunned, these moments are nothing short of transcendental, injecting an electrifying energy into the song.
As I continue to unravel the essence of “Learn To Fly,” I find myself immersed in a narrative that transcends the ordinary. The lyrics resonate as a universal anthem for anyone like me who has dared to confront my fears and uncertainties. The poignant verses, especially at the 0:58 timestamp with lyrics like “the sky is falling down on everything I see, the stars are out tonight but they don’t shine on me,” speak to the vulnerability I harbor when facing life’s storms. In those moments, the stars may be out, but their light doesn’t seem to touch me — a sentiment that echoes my universal struggle of feeling unseen in the vast cosmos of existence.
The heart-wrenching lyricism extends to lines such as “if time’s a healing hand, it doesn’t understand, I’m here to grab my fears and learn to fly.” It’s an intimate plea, a declaration of resilience in the face of time’s indifferent healing. The notion of grabbing my fears becomes a personal call to arms, inviting me to embark on my own journey of growth and self-discovery. “Learn To Fly” isn’t just a song; it’s a mirror reflecting my shared human experience of navigating through challenges and emerging stronger on the other side. The lyrics, like an old friend whispering words of encouragement, create a profound connection, reminding me that I am not alone in my quest to learn to fly amidst life’s adversities.
What truly elevates “Learn To Fly” is its otherworldly lyricism. The crafted words seem to defy earthly origins, resonating on a soul-deep level. Lines like “now all the days are gone, a little left to wish upon, too many tears for these tired eyes to cry” carve a poetic narrative that lingers in my mind. As the song concludes, the amalgamation of pulsating rhythms, profound lyrics, and intricate guitar work solidifies “Learn To Fly” as more than a song—it’s a captivating sonic pilgrimage that’s left a personal mark on me.
In the ever-evolving landscape of music, The Ruby Tears’ “Learn To Fly” stands as a captivating masterpiece. I wholeheartedly recommend this song to those seeking not just a musical experience but a transformative journey. As The Ruby Tears brace for a triumphant return to the live stage, “Learn To Fly” serves as a herald of a band that has not only learned to fly but is ready to soar to new heights in the hearts of their listeners.
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