Suggested Song Pairing: Ruth B’s “Slow Fade” & An Overdue Breakup

A good song is like a good glass of wine: comforting, delicious, and able to make everything feel a bit better (or worse) if just for the duration of its contents. In that spirit, let’s break down Ruth B’s new sure-to-be hit like a sommelier would a full-bodied Malbec, shall we?
The jam: “Slow Fade” by Ruth B
Pairs well with: An overdue breakup, or a nice long walk where no one can hear you sobbing at lyrics like: We were built like concrete / I used to know your heartbeat / The light has disappeared / The dust has settled here
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Tastes like: Soft pop, with a subtle note of singer-songwriter soul. Think Alessia Cara meets Corinne Bailey Rae. It was co-written by U.K. duo Oh Wonder and produced by D’Mile (Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Bryson Tiller, Mary J. Blige) so it’s got an R&B edge that some piano-driven ballads lack.
Sommelier’s notes: Ruth B songs should come with a warning label that reads: May cause extreme FEELS. I’m never prepared. Ruth B is a 23-year-old who still lives with her parents in Edmonton. She has no business being as tremendously talented as she is. She could be studying for finals instead of tearing apart my insides with her smooth vocals. Ruth B’s origin story starts in 2015 with “Lost Boy,” a viral smash that went on to get over 100 million views on YouTube, sure, but she almost feels like a well-kept secret. The breakout hit, about Peter Pan and loneliness, introduced Canada to Ruth B’s unassuming way of telling a gorgeous story with just her piercing voice and her piano.
She’s back with a new single “Slow Fade” that delivers the same delicate strength she’s perfected and flips the script on all the conventions of a typical breakup song. Ruth isn’t scorned or pissed or on a quest for revenge. She’s not even resigned to being single and thriving in a “Thank U, Next” way. In “Slow Fade,” Ruth sings of still being in a relationship, just one that’s lost its pixie dust. The lyrics show a maturity that feels authentic, even though I don’t know when Ruth had the time to be in a relationship long enough to see it fade, let alone express the mess that no one tells you comes with dating someone for a long-ass time. The lovey, dovey, mushy stuff? It fades. Sometimes slowly. Mostly excruciatingly. Ruth B captures all of *that* in one song.
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If you like this, you’ll love: James Blake’s new emotional record, Assume Form, anything by Julia Michaels, and one of our 2019 Artists to Watch, Mahalia.
You can watch the “Slow Fade” music video below.
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