Melancholic indie songwriter Flower Face shares the poetic ballad 'October Birds'

New album 'The Shark In Your Water' due out May 27th
Ahead of her new album, Montreal multi-hyphenate artist Ruby McKinnon, a.k.a. Flower Face, shares the final single release in the form of the poetic, somber ballad 'October Birds'. Showing her most intimate side, the song opens with arpeggiating acoustics and breathtaking harmonies. McKinnon’s melancholic prose sounds almost as if sheis reading directly from her diary.

“This song is about the kind of self-revelation that leaves you mourning for the person you believed you were before,” explains McKinnon. “Any kind of growth is hard: it hurts to shed your skin. The layer underneath is tender. The lyrics get pretty blunt -moreso than the others. I had somebody tell me once that the reason they loved my lyrics is because I have a way of 'juxtaposing the poetic with the heartbreakingly mundane'. I think that’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. I sort of unintentionally did that in this song because I was fed up when I wrote it: fed up with myself, with the way that I am and the fact that I couldn’t change that. At the time, I was in a relationship with somebody who was just unconditionally kind and understanding and forgiving. It brought my volatility into stark relief. Sometimes I feel like it’s easier for me to be in an unstable and fraught relationship because then I’m not forced to confront my own internal evil. Self-revelation is a painful (and very important) thing."

A multi-hyphenate artist, Ruby McKinnoncreates melancholic folk music with a bedroom pop heart under the moniker Flower Face. Taking inspiration from her own vertiginous life experiences, alongside such varied sources as Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, Jesus Christ Superstar, the oeuvre of Mads Mikkelsen and her dog Ziggy, Flower Face’s musical testimonials recall the jagged emotion of Bright Eyes while conjuring the ethereal ecstasy of a fresh wound.                                                                                                              
Classically trained in piano since the age of 5, McKinnon began writing her own music at 14. Encouraged by her music-obsessed parents, she formed Flower Face in true D.I.Y. style: recording her independent debut, Fever Dreams, almost exclusively on her dad’s GarageBand app. Teeming with acoustic heartbreak hymns, it didn’t take long for the album to find space on bedroom playlists alongside The National, Daughter, Big Thief, and Mazzy Star.                                                                                                                                                      
In 2018, McKinnon expanded her sound, hooking up with producer and long-time family friend Joshua Kaiser for her breakthrough sophomore release, Baby Teeth. Featuring an increasingly evocative sonic palette and deeper thematic constructs, the album dealt with, among other things, McKinnon’s own battle with stage three ovarian cancer at the age of 17. Thinking back on her diagnosis, McKinnon says it was her “close brush with the grim reaper” that ultimately made her realize she needed to pursue a career in music.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
“It felt like everyone knew me before I had a chance to introduce myself. I was the ‘cancer kid’ at school, and these intimate details of my life became the basis for staff meetings and class discussions and fundraising campaigns.I was so out of it at the time that I didn’t realize how that aspect of it might affect me. But once I left high school and started meeting new people, it becameclear how much that experience had damaged my sense of privacy and dignity. It felt important, even urgent, that I tell my own story,” She recalls. “As my reach has grown, sharing my story on my own terms has become such a powerful thing. And it hasinspired others to share their stories with me in return.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
“In a way, I’m lucky that I was given this newfound sense of purpose and belief in my ability to build a life that I’d love,” she adds. “I don’t want that part of my life to define me, and I don’t wantto be the poster child for anything, but it undoubtedly propelled me forward and gave me such depth of experience to draw from when I write.”                                                           

It was this “sense of purpose” that drove McKinnon to pursue music even more seriously, even using her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to use, designing all the album artwork and conceptualizing her music videos. Her DIY spirit resonated with fans online, as she built a loyal following excited to follow her on the journey. 

2022, Flower Face is set to release the highly anticipated follow-up to Baby Teeth: The Shark In Your Water. Speaking of the album, which marks her Nettwerk Records debut, McKinnon says, “The Shark In Your Water is an exploration of the self and how that is impacted and transformed by trauma, grief, love, heartbreak and the struggle of identity”.

Produced by McKinnon, Kaiser, Jay Merrow and Alex Bonenfantat Toronto’s Dreamhouse Studios, The Shark in Your Water not only marks the next phase in Flower Face’s stratospheric musical trajectory but also serves as a showcase for McKinnon’s artistic prowess –she puts her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to use on the album’s cover art, video production and editing.

Listen to 'October Birds' on all digital retailers here

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