Songbird. No other word so easily comes to mind when thinking about Rebecca Roubion. I went to look up the word itself, as if the very word didn’t provide its own meaning. The dictionary was kind enough to offer “a bird having a melodious song or call.” Too obvious. Then I stumbled upon Urban Dictionary of all places which provided this definition: “Anyone who consciously looks for the best in all people, places, and things; who has acknowledged and released the pains of their soul. And who entergetically help all others release the pain of their souls.” For Rebecca, or “Ruby” as she is affectionally known by many of her friends, this definition could not be any more spot on. It’s her conscious looking for the best in everything and everyone and in her grappling so deftly with the longings in her own soul and those so prevalent in the human condition that make her proper debut release, “Fields” so immediate, and so necessary.
The album lives up to its name of “Fields” as an escape from the normal, everyday routines that we so easily get entangled in. It’s an escape to a place where life is light, high-spirited, playful, whimsical, and dare I say frolicsome. Over the course of it’s 4 tracks, Rebecca’s personality shines through in the best ways possible, inviting the listener into her 12-minute study of love and the human condition. She will inevitably be compared to a young Sara Bareilles, Norah Jones or Regina Spektor, but her music has a more classic feel to it, reflecting her roots in Mobile and New Orleans, with her smoky/jazzy/”bayou” flair mixing with a bit of her childhood idol, Carole King. With all the comparisons, however, her voice and her music stands on its own as a beautifully unique creation.
Each track touches on a different aspect of love: either realized or hoped for, and any of them would sound right at home on the soundtrack of a popular indie romantic comedy. (Just listen to “Love Me Now” and tell us that it wouldn’t have been perfect on (500) Days of Summer). In Rebecca’s words the song is a “playful pursuit”, one lover trying to reach another. “It’s a flirty song; the very beginnings of a relationship.” Rebecca sings of her grandparent’s love in “Vacherie Girl” but puts a modern twist on it that makes it sound just as likely to be about madly-in-love newlyweds straight out of undergrad, with their clever back-and-forth (from Rebecca and the talented Steven Fiore.
“Here Lies My Pulse” is a “window into the soul” for Rebecca and is the track most likely to pull on the listener’s heartstrings with the expertly executed string arrangement buoying Rebecca’s delicate vocals. It’s a story, more than a song, that is sure to become a fan favorite as people find their own ways to identify with the lyrics. “Doorway” closes the album peering into the future with the fulfillment of a forever love. And throughout this album and true to the definition of a “songbird”, Rebecca’s music is a catharsis, allowing the listener to release their held-onto pain in order to chase after a greater joy. As Rebecca told us once, “I didn’t choose music; music chose me.” We’re really glad it did, as we get to peer into the soul of a dynamic talent and celebrate the inherent joy in each and every melody with her.
Tonight marks a special evening for us Nashvillians, as Rebecca is hosting her “Fields” EP Release at The Basement. Local favorites Carolina Story and CherryCase open the night, beginning at 7pm for just $5. You don’t want to miss this momentous occasion. And while we’re mentioning her EP release, we be remiss if we didn’t mention this little fact: Once 1,000 copies of “Fields” are purchased, Rebecca will release the equally remarkable sister EP, “Forests”. It’s a breathtakingly exquisite album that needs to be heard. So let’s help her get to 1,000 by purchasing on Bandcamp, Amazon, or directly from Rebecca’s website.
– Larry Kloess