Interviews Music

One Track Mind: Mint Julep

The Portland duo discuss their addiction to Ruby Haunt’s Sorry, Sabrina

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

Today we welcome wife and husband duo Hollie and Keith Kenniff aka Mint Julep to the blog: a group I’ve only recently discovered but are quickly becoming a TPW favourite. Their new album In A Deep and Dreamless Sleep came out last week, and honestly, it’s just so wonderful. Touching on elements of shoegaze, indie-pop and more amorphous forms of electronica, it conjures an atmosphere as rich, vivid and densely packed with ideas as anything you’re likely to hear this year.

For their track, Keith has selected a short but powerful track from Californian group Ruby Haunt’s 2018 album Blue Hour.

Mint Julep on Ruby Haunt – Sorry, Sabrina

“Both Hollie and I have been stuck on Ruby Haunt’s output for the past couple of years. In a short time they’ve put out a wealth of material and it has been extremely consistent. They’ve managed to put their finger on an aesthetic pulse which lots of other artists have tried to do but many end up being re-hashes of past music falling into a purgatory that does little to push music forward or make a statement. They’ve done a great job keeping their song structures, melodies and chord changes very minimal without the temptation to indulge in experimentation. If it works, it works.

“One song in particular from their 2018 album, Blue Hour, that we keep coming back to is Sorry, Sabrina. The instrumentation is again quite typical: keyboard, drums, bass, voice with very minimal processing. There is a clever piano motif that runs throughout that plays arpeggiated chords that take these slight little detours which keep the song from settling into getting too comfortable/expected. The very simple mix lets the space of the reverb’d vocals breathe against the backdrop of the other instruments, it’s quiet but not morose. The song only runs 2 minutes and then unceremoniously ends with the piano abruptly cutting off, which feels entirely in line with how it should end.

“The thing that helps Ruby Haunt separate themselves and ground their songs with a meaningful foundation is the focus on chords and melody. There’s attention given to aesthetic choices, but it doesn’t rule the presentation of their tracks, these songs could easily just be sung in a living room with and acoustic guitar and a piano without effects and still have an impact.”

Mint Julep – In A Deep and Dreamless Sleep is out now