by Tyler Rescigno
Sydney-based Ruth Carp and the Fish Heads encapsulate the slacker genre in every aspect. In the video for their new song, “I’m So Scared,” we follow the flannel-wearing lead singer through a group of skaters in “the iconic Bedford Street Garage” as he smokes a cigarette, drinks, and periodically sings into the camera. The song features a laid back, clean guitar line that is washed over by a prominent swelling guitar that is both surf and shoegaze which adds character to the song.
Carp essentially talks, or rather slurs, his way through the verses, telling a story about agoraphobia preventing him from visiting his brother in the hospital. The song is one of regret and despair, but its instrumentation allows it to maintain an optimistic tone. The verses open up to a chorus that is emotive as the group switches on the distortion for a far less reserved chorus that steps further into the indie rock genre and is punctuated by “hey hey’s” in true pop fashion. These moments recur throughout the song. The vocals often devolve into “yeah yeahs” and “oh oh’s,” but the simplicity of the lyrics creates a matter-of-fact and honest tone.
Ruth Carp and the Fish Heads manage to create a sense of intimacy through their approach to their music. Ruth Carp stands out through accessibility in a musical climate where the opposite is so often the case. Their sound is direct, as is their message, in a way that makes you feel as though they’re old friends.