Idreamofvinyl favorites Trophy Wife have just released their debut album “Art”. The six tracks here cover a range of styles and genres; “On The Phone” goes full 80s Pop while “Art” and first single “Beauty Queen” are more laid-back and jazzy. The album closes with “Italy” which starts quietly before building to a wall of guitar and feels like a cathartic release from the year we’ve all been through. It’s a stunning debut; the only quibble is that you wish there were more than just the 6 songs.
Trophy Wife (Ruby Smyth) born 1999 is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Ireland. We caught up with her to talk about the album, musical influences and pizza!
How does it feel to have your debut album “Art” out in the world? (We need a vinyl release btw!)
Girl it feels so good. I’ve been sitting on it for a while now so it feels good she’s finally out in the world and people are spinning her. ‘Art’ is indicative of a very specific time in my life so in ways it feels like a very compact time capsule. I’m so far removed from that place now that it’s very cathartic to have her come full circle and be out doin her thing.
How did COVID affected the process? Did it change how you approached the album; either your songwriting or how you recorded it?
‘Art’ has been done for over a year so Covid didn’t really affect the recording process. Italy was a manic addition 2 weeks before the record was done, but it was already a well fleshed out demo. On that track, I would have really liked real drums, but miss corona meant I had to programme a “real-esque” kit instead. I have some really talented drummer friends I would have loved to take a whirl at it, but time and circumstance meant that didn’t happen. It still slaps so I ain’t mad.
If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
Voulez Vouz by ABBA. It has everything you would ever need.
Did you play everything on the album yourself or did you work with any other musicians?
Yes. My dad is a guitar god and played the solo on Birthday and co-produced the record with me. Other than that it’s a one woman show.
There are a few different styles on the album – who would you say are your main influences?
I’m one of those really annoying people that responds to these types of questions with “I love all genres of music” but genuinely, I do. I have always been that way. Genre / style / artist is not as important to me as musicality in a track or album. Musically, I am inspired by so many artists, each at a different time in my life for different reasons. The influences that have been constant through my life have been Steely Dan, Whitney Houston and Joni Mitchell. The reason why they’ve stayed timeless inspirations for me is not because of their music necessarily, but more so for their inherent musicality and their ability to translate often ineffable emotional experiences into something so expressive and well put together. My chaotic ass finds that so inspiring in terms of a creative process/arc.
What classic album cover is your current mood?
Gaucho by Steely Dan (always)
Are you planning to tour “Art” once things start to return to some sense of normality again? Hopefully you’ll include a few stops in the US on the world tour
Yes !!! I am so gassed to play live. I wanna put on a show for y’all. I’ve never been to the States ! So I need to come kick with you icons asap.
What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
It would have caramelized onions, aubergine, courgette, cheese and honey (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it). It would be called “the Cate Blanchette”.
What’s up next for Trophy Wife?
Trophy Wife has just graduated college so she’s trying to figure out what is next. I’m kind of j chillin and seeing how the world unfolds – all the while garnering experiences and knowledge so I can make better art. I’ve loads of stuff in the vault and I’m already thinking about my next release. For now my focus is promo-ing ‘Art’, riding the wave of miss pandemic and as always, working on myself both as a person and an artist.
Check out Trophy Wife’s Bandcamp page to buy “Art” and follow on Instagram and Twitter.