ReubenBlue is the name that sisters Katherine and Stella Riley have adopted for their experimental pop/rock venture. Exploring song-writing techniques together since 2004, the Lancashire based siblings refer to each other as “musical soul-mates”. They take a very collaborative approach to composing and performing, being well versed in the use of guitar, bass, drums and piano, sharing duties in each.
The duo have played shows all around the north-west of England and even took time out to complete a BA in Music Practice at the University of Central Lancashire. Since finishing the course, they both feel that they have grown as musicians and expanded their creative horizons. The culmination of their efforts is new EP, A Vignette.
The record begins with “Into the Wild”, which is introduced via vivacious percussion. Guitars soon erupt forcefully, keeping things active and animated. The simple lyrics repeat throughout, chanted emphatically alongside the insistent instrumentation.
“Lovely to See You” is less dramatic, gliding gently upon a dainty riff and resonant vocals. The pressing yet contented rhythm exudes a psychedelic ambience, maintaining a consistent momentum before fading out and lingering.
“You Are the One” features subtle guitars amid a mellow harmony. A progressive pace gradually adds more musical elements into the mix as it develops. The resultant atmosphere is pensive and quixotic.
Sonorous vocals unfold atop dissonant instrumentation through “Fast Train”, making for an intricate finale. The complex sound generates an air of ambivalence, setting a tone that feels equal parts optimistic and ominous.
The experimental nature of ReubenBlue’s material means that it’s difficult to define it as belonging to any one particular genre. It dabbles in pop, rock and folk to varying degrees, giving each track on A Vignette a distinct yet compatible sound.