Melancholic Indie Songwriter FLOWER FACE Unveils The Devastatingly Beautiful New Album ‘The Shark In Your Water’
May 27, 2022 BY George Chammas
Today, Montreal multi-hyphenate artist Ruby McKinnon aka Flower Face, shares her artfully crafted new album, The Shark In Your Water, via Nettwerk. The ten-song collection is a devastatingly beautiful exploration of when “love becomes an obsession.” McKinnon shares stories of heartbreaking intimacy, working through traumas of love, and the constant struggle of self-identity.
After finding a fanbase online through DIY releases Baby Teeth (2018) and Fever Dreams (2017), Flower Face has established herself as an artist to watch, receiving rave reviews from Alt-Press, American Songwriter, Ones to Watch, FLAUNT, Under the Radar, and more. In addition, she performed to captivated crowds on an east coast run supporting SYML as part of his Sacred Spaces Tour. Listen to The Shark In Your Water on all digital retailers (here).
Alongside the album release comes the dark and moody opening song, “Spiracle,” providing the perfect entry point for listeners. The spiraling build offers a powerful, cinematic start and sets the tone for the melancholic odyssey.
“I made a demo of a really dark instrumental that just built and built, and I started singing over it, making up everything as I went along,” McKinnon explains. “Usually I’m very calculated and meticulous with my lyrics, but I loved the first run that I did, so I never changed any of the lines… the title of the record comes from a line in this song, and it encapsulates that whole feeling: you love somebody, and you want to care for them, but you also want to be the shark: lurking around them always, haunting them forever.”
This summer, Flower Face will be celebrating the record release on the road with show dates at The Drake Underground in Toronto on July 22nd and Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn on July 26th. For more information and details visit: https://www.flowerface.com/.
LISTEN & SHARE “SPIRACLE” HERE:
A multi-hyphenate artist, Ruby McKinnon creates melancholic folk music with a bedroom pop heart under the moniker Flower Face. Taking inspiration from her own vertiginous life experiences, alongside such varied sources as Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, Jesus Christ Superstar, the oeuvre of Mads Mikkelsen and her dog Ziggy, Flower Face’s musical testimonials recall the jagged emotion of Bright Eyes while conjuring the ethereal ecstasy of a fresh wound.
Classically trained in piano since the age of 5, McKinnon began writing her own music at 14. Encouraged by her music-obsessed parents, she formed Flower Face in true D.I.Y. style: recording her independent debut, Fever Dreams, almost exclusively on her dad’s GarageBand app. Teeming with acoustic heartbreak hymns, it didn’t take long for the album to find space on bedroom playlists alongside The National, Daughter, Big Thief, and Mazzy Star.
In 2018, McKinnon expanded her sound, hooking up with producer and long-time family friend Joshua Kaiser for her breakthrough sophomore release, Baby Teeth. Featuring an increasingly evocative sonic palette and deeper thematic constructs, the album dealt with, among other things, McKinnon’s own battle with stage three ovarian cancer at the age of 17.
Thinking back on her diagnosis, McKinnon says it was her “close brush with the grim reaper” that ultimately made her realize she needed to pursue a career in music.
“It felt like everyone knew me before I had a chance to introduce myself. I was the ‘cancer kid’ at school, and these intimate details of my life became the basis for staff meetings and class discussions and fundraising campaigns.I was so out of it at the time that I didn’t realize how that aspect of it might affect me. But once I left high school and started meeting new people, it became clear how much that experience had damaged my sense of privacy and dignity. It felt important, even urgent, that I tell my own story,” She recalls. “As my reach has grown, sharing my story on my own terms has become such a powerful thing. And it has inspired others to share their stories with me in return.”
“In a way, I’m lucky that I was given this newfound sense of purpose and belief in my ability to build a life that I’d love,” she adds. “I don’t want that part of my life to define me, and I don’t want to be the poster child for anything, but it undoubtedly propelled me forward and gave me such depth of experience to draw from when I write.”
It was this “sense of purpose” that drove McKinnon to pursue music even more seriously, even using her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to use, designing all the album artwork and conceptualizing her music videos. Her DIY spirit resonated with fans online, as she built a loyal following excited to follow her on the journey.
In 2022, Flower Face is set to release the highly anticipated follow-up to Baby Teeth: The Shark In Your Water. Speaking of the album, which marks her Nettwerk debut, McKinnon says, “The Shark In Your Water is an exploration of the self and how that is impacted and transformed by trauma, grief, love, heartbreak and the struggle of identity.”
Produced by McKinnon, Kaiser, Jay Merrow and Alex Bonenfant at Toronto’s Dreamhouse Studios, The Shark in Your Water not only marks the next phase in Flower Face’s stratospheric musical trajectory but also serves as a showcase for McKinnon’s artistic prowess – she puts her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to use on the album’s cover art, video production and editing.
FLOWER FACE UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
July 22 – The Drake Underground – Toronto, ON
July 26 – Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn, NY
MEDIA PRAISE FOR FLOWER FACE…
“…heartbreakingly relatable and nostalgic at every turn…”
“McKinnon’s voice has a delicate ache perfect for any heartbreak playlist.”-
“…crystalline indie folk creations, reminiscent of the emotional vulnerability found in Weyes Blood, Lucy Dacus, and Bright Eyes.”
–Under The Radar
“…a gloriously fluid confection, comprising 60s pop (think the deathpop of Twinkle or The Shangri-Las), folk, country and a sprinkling of electro to create three minutes of sublime, slightly unnerving, dreamy indie in a style that fans of The National, Daughter, and Mazzy Star will lap up…”
–Rolling Stone Australia
“Blessed with a remarkable degree of world-building, she’s confident enough to invite others in – first mapping out a peculiar cosmos, and then sharing it with others.”
“Brimming with McKinnon’s trademark melancholia… led by husky vocals and anthemic melodies.”
“With haunting harmonies and lyrics that drip with a range of anger, forgiveness, fondness, and sadness, the structure of the song takes you through the journey of trying to get over someone, an experience that is both universal and isolating at the same time.”
“…emotionally immersive artist… sings the sinews of those skin chords in a melancholic way few artists can, nor even attempt…”
–Ones to Watch
“Flower Face creates music for those who know the single to be true—introverts, wallflowers, and hopeless romantics.”
“… other-worldly vocals to production that jolts between genres and frequencies….”