Bringing the 1970’s into 2019, Naomi Baguley dons one of her funky ‘glam suits’ and becomes Ruthie. With tales of breakups and lost loves, Ruthie’s songwriting is wonderfully familiar and comforting, like a big hug from your mum.
You’re quite a new artist. How did the project come about?
I was in a band called Bruising for a few years, trying to sound like The Breeders. When that ended, I knew I wanted to go in a different direction musically. So, I started writing with my Bruising bandmate Ben, and that became Ruthie!
Where did your name come from? Was it something that came naturally alongside the music?
Ruthie is actually what my family has called me since I was a kid, because my middle name is Ruth. I also wanted to use a name that was like a character that I could use to channel the emotions I was feeling into confidence and strength.
Your three singles so far have had similar undertones of breakups and religious themes. Is this a key part of the concept “Ruthie”?
I wrote the three singles just after a breakup, and most of the lyrics are about the time directly after that, when I felt like I had to rebuild my life, as well as being really fucking sad. Religion has been a big undercurrent in my entire life, so is always something I come back to - and question - and probably will continue to do that forever.
What has been the main influences for your writing? Whether that be musically or literary?
Musically, Ben and I were really influenced by the classic songwriting we both grew up listening to, like John Lennon and Fleetwood Mac. But we both wanted to bring that kind of songwriting into 2019. Personally for me, when I’m writing lyrics I feel inspired by Joni Mitchell and Arthur Russell, as well as the writing of people like Jeanette Winterson and Hera Lindsay Bird.
You play with a full band. How does the writing process work?
Ben and I will usually trade melody ideas over voice message, then I’ll go and write lyrics, usually working out a theme or feeling I’ve been thinking about for a while. Then the two of us will get together and demo an arrangement, before teaching the song to the rest of the band.
You have a strong visual style as an artist. Is this an extension of your personality or an artistic concept?
I guess it’s both! I would love to be someone who has like a definite aesthetic style, but I think I’m too easily distracted and all over the place! I also like the idea of changing the look of Ruthie with every release cycle, like Madonna. With this first phase of Ruthie, I was really inspired by 70s adverts and the glam suits of Gram Parsons and other country music artists. I’m already getting inspiration for the next phase, which might be quite a different look but you’ll have to wait and see…
Finally, what is around the corner for Ruthie?
We’re playing a couple of festivals this summer and will be recording our next release... watch this space!