Photography by Tasha Barker

George Ward
George Ward

Freelance journalist based in Bristol. Can be found at the Grain Barge, Rough Trade or in his tiny basement bedroom writing for CLUNK.

Newcastle songwriter Ruth Lyon drops ‘Flood’, the gorgeous and stripped back final track from her new EP, ‘Direct Debit To Vogue’

When you hear the story of the name ‘Direct Debit To Vogue’, you can’t help but feel a little intrigued. When working on the EP, Ruth Lyon saw copy after copy of Vogue come through her door and, although it made her feel awful, she couldn’t bring herself to cancel her subscription. 

It is these types of observations that make ‘Flood’ so special. The track is very sparse instrumentally, with only a simple drumbeat, piano and bass. This allows for the main attraction, Ruth’s vocal performance, to stand at the front of the mix. 

Her performance is somehow both confident and gentle. The lyrics explore sensitive topics, channelling Lyon’s experiences as a disabled woman. Yet they remain witty, cynical and funny, filled with small observations and new ways of looking at life. Lines like “Call me anything you want, I don’t care. What is a name but a rush of air?” are both thought-provoking and charming. 

With production handled by John Parish (Aldous Harding, PJ Harvey) and lyrics like these, ‘Direct Debit To Vogue’ is a really enjoyable listen.

Speaking on the track Ruth explains: “As a disabled woman I always get labelled, packaged up, put in a box made to feel ‘other’ and not ‘normal’. Sure, my days of climbing mountains, feeling invincible, arm-wrestling boys, taking for granted my own physical health are a lifetime behind me. I’ve lived my entire adult life all too aware of my own fragility but with that comes a sense of freedom, power and an insatiable hunger to live life beyond the confines of a society that thinks it knows what’s best for me. I reject your pity. I celebrate disability culture in my music and in every part of who I am. I was also inspired by Yard Act and the way they deliver superbly crafted lyrics as well as the power of Self Esteem’s healing yet brutal music. There’s just something about the way us Northerners string words together that I love hearing in music. Underneath all the bullshit we’re just blood, bones, water and electricity. We’re all made of the same stuff each with our own unique eccentricities, that’s what makes us human and every single one of us should feel valid.”

The new EP, ‘Direct Debit To Vogue’ is out now via Pink Lane Records.

Listen to ‘Flood’ here: