Melancholic Songwriter Flower Face Shares “Sugar Water” + Announces New Album ‘The Shark in Your Water’ out 5/27
January 21, 2022 BY Jason Currell
After making waves with singles “Cornflower Blue” and “Back To You,” melancholic indie artist Flower Face is proud to officially announce her forthcoming full-length album The Shark In Your Water due out May 27th via Nettwerk. Accompanying the announcement is the release of her most dynamic song to date. “Sugar Water” kicks into high gear with intricate, descending guitar lines and dark melodies. The push and pull tension of the chorus perfectly match the lyrics of obsessive love.
The music video is an artfully crafted take on the Rock Band-style video games of the early-00s. McKinnon plays the game’s avatar, trying her hand at each instrument, not only highlighting her multi-faceted musical abilities but her visual aesthetic as well. The video was both directed and edited by McKinnon who holds a BFA in Fine Arts. “Sugar Water” is out now via digital retailers (here).
“Sugar Water is a song about being completely infatuated with someone, to the point where you’re in too deep but you don’t care because everything is so exciting and colorful and beautiful. The world looks better through rose-colored glasses, so you keep them on. You don’t see any problems or failures until they hit you in the face. I wanted to do something bright and fun with the music video. When I was younger, I loved all those music-based video games: Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, Karaoke Revolution. I thought something sort of tongue-in-cheek, in that Y2K video game style would be fun. The video has my avatar going through each verse and chorus as if it’s a “level”, playing a different instrument in each one. Virtual me is super psyched, because it’s so much fun and everything is neon pink and purple and I get to wear this really cool outfit, so I don’t even realize I’ve failed until the very end. It’s like the crash and burn of those kinds of relationships – it doesn’t hit you til it’s over.”
WATCH “SUGAR WATER” OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO:
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 Records 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.
MEDIA PRAISE FOR FLOWER FACE…
“…heartbreakingly relatable and nostalgic at every turn…” – Alt-Press
“…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
“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.” –FLAUNT
“Flower Face creates music for those who know the single to be true—introverts, wallflowers, and hopeless romantics. People who spend enough time lost in their own minds to understand that melancholy is often mistaken for agony and heartache.” –Unpublished Magazine
“…a grandiose shimmering rock-ballad with a dreamy Beach House element to it.” –We All Want Someone to Shout For
Listen to “Sugar Water” Here
Download “Sugar Water” Single Art Here