Ever since Australian trio RÜFÜS DU SOL began releasing singles from its third studio LP Solace, fans have been thirstier than a desert wanderer for more. That’s actually an apt metaphor, because this album was directly inspired by the band’s experiences in its new home of California.
The album artwork and much of its musical moods draw inspiration from the haunting, magical, psychedelic landscapes of the Golden State’s exotic interiors. Its lyrics are stories of transformation and change. The whole album feels emergent, like a new plant breaking through the soil to reach the light.
It’s quite personal, really, but in a relative fashion RÜFÜS hopes touches you in meaningful ways. Below, we have the story on each of Solace‘s nine tracks, exclusively on Billboard Dance.
“Treat You Better”
This song means a lot to us. It felt like a song we wrote to ourselves and to our loved ones during what was a testing time for us all personally. We were originally going to get a gospel choir for the end of this song but thought better of it when we realized we had so many talented friends with amazing voices around us. We invited them to the studio and just spent a full day playing and recording with them. It’s so special to share this song with such a talented and kind hearted group of people.
This one is one of the most immediate songs on the record, it’s about really seeing someone for the first time and knowing they see you. When we write songs, it’s easy to lose ourselves in the fantasy of what it might feel like playing live to an audience. For those that don’t know, we’re a three-piece band, and we play live with drums, vocals, synths and guitars. This has been the song we’ve been most excited to unleash in the live arena. The horn sound and the bass sound in this song has found its way onto a few of the other songs on the record and feels a bit like it’s helped shape the sound of the album.
This song is for anyone who has ever had a sudden and freeing realization that you want to change something about your life. I remember listening to this one in my headphones for the first time after we made it at like 6 a.m. on my friend’s couch. When this arpeggiator comes in at about the three-minute mark, my whole body felt like it disintegrated into particles and fragments of myself were floating around the room. Hard one to explain, but can confirm it felt good. Hopefully, there’s someone out there that will experience something like that.
“Lost in My Mind”
We wrote this one in Joshua Tree over a two-day period while in search of lyrics for the rest of the album. It was the last song we wrote for the record and felt like an unexpected gift from the desert. It’s rare for us to write and finish a song in such a short amount of time, but we did with this one.
It took us a long time to find the song that we wanted to release as the first track from the record. It was a really important song for us, because it was the first taste we were giving to the world of what was to come with the rest of the album. This is a Frankenstein of three unfinished songs we were writing while making the record. We had the “there’s no place I’d rather be lyric” for months and knew we loved it, but it came together when we found the second part of the chorus, “I feel myself with you.” We re-recorded the vocals for this one super last minute, because the original performance didn’t quite feel right. Really grateful for where it ended up.
“All I’ve Got”
We recommend you soak this one in over a midnight drive somewhere. When new albums or songs come out, we like to listen to them in the car while driving somewhere. That feeling of movement often gives a sense of place to the music. We tried to bring the night ride highway to life with the sonics in this one.
We moved to Los Angeles from Australia to write this album. I think we all managed to get swept up in the washing machine of the lifestyle in L.A. and lost sight of ourselves a little. We spent so much time in the studio writing music that we neglected our personal lives and pushed everything aside until we were drowning in the pile-up of things we’d ignored to the point of suffocation.
It’s scary how easy it can be for people to forget a partner or loved one once they’re gone. It’s almost easier to forget than to chose to remember them; to feel the true pain and loss that comes with celebrating your time with someone.
As soon as we wrote this song, we knew we wanted it to be the closing track on the album. We tried re-recording the final goodbye lyrics to this a few times, but there was a vulnerability and real-ness of the recording in the first demo take that we felt had to stay. It felt like the heart of the track in a way. We can’t wait to play this one live.
Solace is out now on Reprise Records. Listen to it below.