Between Rock and an Indie Place: “Love Too Soon” by Born Ruffians

On October 29th, Born Ruffians released a new single titled “Love Too Soon,” and I cannot be more excited to hear new music still coming from this Toronto-based indie rock band. I believe that this band has flown under the radar for a while since their formation about a decade ago, and I would love to see them eventually receive the attention they deserve. I have much love for this band from our neighbors to the North.

Their bio on Spotify sums them up pretty well when it says they “deliver a playful variety of indie rock that weaves shifting guitar patterns though spare, hooky melodies and sweet but snarky vocals.” You can get a really good sense of the diversity of their sound by listening to some of their more popular songs, such as “Hummingbird” or “Needle” off of their earlier albums.

This new single, “Love Too Soon,” offers something I haven’t heard as much from Born Ruffians: a slowed-down, smoother vibe. The guitar and bass riffs in this song transport me to a place in the universe where all my worries seem to disappear. That, followed by the organ in the background and the subsequent whistling provides for a full and rich sound which really demonstrates the all-around musicality of the indie band.

I really love the harshness of the lyrics contrasted with the soft instrumentals in this new song. Take, for example, this verse that really demands your attention given its shock factor in its latter half:

“You are a frown,
filled with lowered expectations.
And swam around,
in Tylenols and masturbations.”

This part of the song contributes to the mysterious meaning of this song. The ambiguity I felt as a listener was quite discomforting, but after a while I found it intriguing. Now, after multiple listens, I am still confused as to the singer’s attitude toward love.

The music video is equally ambiguous, where the lead singer is just casually walking down a hallway with some strange characters occupying it. Still, I think there is something oddly entertaining about not knowing what the hell is going on. Despite the oddness of it all, I still admire the music video for its aesthetic beauty.

I think the allure of this band comes from the same reason people are entertained by MGMT or Of Montreal. There is something oddly comforting about the existential feeling of not knowing or being able to explain why I like something. We are, after all, completely insignificant compared to the absolute vastness of the universe… not to get all nihilistic or anything.

“Love Too Soon” is a good song, even though I may not necessarily fully “get it.” It makes me think of my own life experiences with love, and it’s a smooth, quiet song I could play late at night when I’m contemplating the meaning of life itself. Please, Born Ruffians, if you’re reading this, keeping doing what you’re doing!

— Noah Slowik, Fiction Editor & Music Blogger

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