Tiny Ruins – Olympic Girls

On Tiny Ruins' newest album Olympic Girls, each note is flawless and precise – no moment is wasted.

Album Review by Amy Kenyon | 01 Feb 2019
  • Tiny Ruins – Olympic Girls
Album title: Olympic Girls
Artist: Tiny Ruins
Label: Marathon Artists
Release date: 1 Feb

Olympic Girls is the spellbinding new album from Auckland-based folk outfit, Tiny Ruins. Tiny Ruins was the name first given to songwriter Hollie Fullbrook’s solo project and, as with their earlier material, there is great emphasis on Fullbrook’s intrepid vocals. Her traditional folk-style singing is constrained against the melodious sound of the guitar, holding the listener captive from beginning to end. Fullbrook’s voice is very Bob Dylan-esque and, much like Dylan, Tiny Ruins’ lyrical storytelling awakens the imagination of the listener.

The album opens with rousing lyrics: 'Stirring, shaking, all of us waking under the same cover of sky'. Just as the track ushers in a new day, it's as though we've just awoken. Tiny Ruins gives the listener time to accustomise to each imaginary setting before journeying further into the world of Olympic Girls. Beginning with minimal instrumentals, Tiny Ruins builds layer upon layer of sound and, like an impressionist painting onto a blank canvas, every word is an incredibly visual brushstroke that illuminates each scene. Each note is flawless and precise – no moment is wasted.

There's an ethereal quality here; the recording style is atmospheric, capturing the haunting sounds of life behind the recording like the ghost in the machine. The album exists in a dreamlike state, only half remembered upon waking. Although listening to Olympic Girls is an immersive experience that takes the listener away from their reality, it's bittersweet – and not the kind of contemplative place that you would want to linger in for too long.

Listen to: Olympic Girls, School of Design, Sparklers