Tiny Ruins : 'Olympic Girls'

The Milk! Records-signed outfit return with their first album since 2014.  

For a while, Tiny Ruins was the solo project of Hollie Fullbrook. Now a fully fledged, self-sufficient band, (guitarist Tom Healy also assumes production duties), the band members fulfil their tasks. Tiny Ruins are like a ramshackle journey down country roads with the mellow mafia.

Gently twangy guitars and unique tunefulness appear on tracks like ‘How Much’, while the band transcend idolatry with ‘Sparkless’, which emits a lairy playfulness and a genuine sense of release. Yet even on the dreamy ‘Holograms’ they seem a little haphazard and rambling. ‘Kore Waits in the Underworld’ is testament that perseverance provides rewards and stops a mid-paced lament from becoming a wallow.

Fans of Courtney Barnett will rejoice in the sometimes conservative and schmaltz-driven sounds of the record as the band veer down some side roads but never quite lose the plot. On some songs, they persist with montages of abstract instrumentation but do not try to fashion something that passes itself off as ground-breaking. ‘One Million Flowers’ is evidence of just how well they do the simple things.

Tiny Ruins do not cast themselves as cultural outlaws as they adopt the low-key approach. But how much quiet can you take? Just enough to become enchanted by ‘Stars, False, Fading’.