Montreal Indie Songwriter Flower Face Shares the Poetic Ballad “October Birds” + Announces SYML Support Dates!
April 18, 2022 BY George Chammas
Ahead of her new album, Montreal multi-hyphenate artist Ruby McKinnon aka Flower Face shared the final single release in the form of the poetic, somber ballad “October Birds.” Showing her most intimate side, the song opens with arpeggiating acoustics and breathtaking harmonies. McKinnon’s melancholic prose sounds almost as if she is reading directly from her diary. Listen to “October Birds” on all digital retailers (here).
“This song is about the kind of self-revelation that leaves you mourning for the person you believed you were before,” explains McKinnon. “Any kind of growth is hard: it hurts to shed your skin. The layer underneath is tender. The lyrics get pretty blunt — more so than the others. I had somebody tell me once that the reason they loved my lyrics is because I have a way of ‘juxtaposing the poetic with the heartbreakingly mundane.’ I think that’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. I sort of unintentionally did that in this song because I was fed up when I wrote it: fed up with myself, with the way that I am and the fact that I couldn’t change that. At the time, I was in a relationship with somebody who was just unconditionally kind and understanding and forgiving. It brought my volatility into stark relief. Sometimes I feel like it’s easier for me to be in an unstable and fraught relationship because then I’m not forced to confront my own internal evil. Self-revelation is a painful (and very important) thing.”
“October Birds” will appear alongside singles “Pisces Moon,” “Sugar Water,” “Cornflower Blue,”and “Back To You,” on her forthcoming full-length album The Shark in Your Waterdue out May 27th via Nettwerk.
LISTEN & SHARE “OCTOBER BIRDS” HERE:
Flower Face is also happy to announce that she will be supporting SYML for a run of dates on his new world tour. The shows kick off on May 13th at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, ON. Check out the complete list of dates.
FLOWER FACE 2022 TOUR DATES:
May 13 – Church of the Holy Trinity – Toronto, ON
May 14 – The Spire – Kingston, ON
May 15 – Théâtre Corona – Montréal, QC
May 17 – First Church Cambridge – Cambridge, MA
May 18 – First Unitarian Church – Brooklyn, NY
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…”
“…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….”
- Cornflower Blue
- Sugar Water
- Paper Doll
- Back To You
- October Birds
- Pisces Moon
- Bad Astrology