Headlining Off Centre Festival is Tiny Ruins, a multi-award-winning indie-folk band based in Auckland.
A rare blend of eloquent lyrical craft and explorative musicianship, the songs of Tiny Ruins have been treasured by crowds and critics for over a decade. Traversing influences that cross genre and era, the artistry of Hollie Fullbrook and her band spans delicate folk, lustrous dream pop and ebullient psychedelia.
Born in Bristol and raised in West Auckland, Fullbrook's debut LP Some Were Meant For Sea (2011) features her alone, and was quickly celebrated by radio playlists and blogs worldwide. The album’s clutch of “gorgeous vignettes” (BBC) put the artist on the map, and she took to the road from her home in New Zealand to tour extensively through the UK, Europe and North America – a passage repeated many times since.
Second album Brightly Painted One earned more accolades, championed by the New York Times, NPR and David Lynch, and winning Best Alternative Album at the New Zealand Music Awards in 2014. “An album of quiet, devastating beauty,” wrote Pop Matters. The album saw Fullbrook join forces with producer Tom Healy, whom, alongside long-time tourmates bassist Cass Basil and drummer Alex Freer, Fullbrook has worked and toured with ever since.
Building on the sparse minimalism and mesmerising songwriting of earlier releases, third album Olympic Girls comprises a taut and agile quiver of songs, dancing with explorative instrumentation and a pop sensibility that springs with life.
“How much would you be willing to give?” Fullbrook asks point-blank in first single ‘How Much’, ahead of woozily discordant strings and a stomping neo-psychedelic rhythm. The lyric brims with imagery of supermarket breakdowns, lilos, snarks and silos while an anthemic guitar hook soars throughout. Not content to leave the song at a stable conclusion, a thumping ‘I am the Walrus’-esque bass outro propels the track boomerang-style back to a space of adroit experimentation.
A group renowned for their electric dynamic live on stage, Tiny Ruins have played stages in solo and varied group formations across countless cities and states with Sharon van Etten, Calexico, the Handsome Family and more.
At Off Centre, Tiny Ruins will be drawing from their impressive back catalogue and also performing material from their forthcoming new album, due out in mid April
“...an album that both bruises the heart and lifts the soul...songwriting that demonstrates a novelist’s eye for detail.”
— Uncut review of Brightly Painted One
“A tranquil, pared-back track [with] a gradually rising sense of the macabre... very special indeed.”
— The Line of Best Fit
“She is always looking uneasily toward the next line, or moving toward mysticism. In sentimental contexts, she generates lines of wicked ambition.”
— The New York Times
“Fullbrook’s hushed yet forceful songs, packed with obsessives and resilient loners, demand your full attention.”
— Q Magazine
Off Centre, an arts festival bursting with music, comedy, theatre, food, a market, and vibrant entertainment to celebrate The Arts Centre's glorious restoration. Off Centre showcases more than 50 events with over 250 artists performing across the 3-5 March 2023. Full details at www.artscentre.org.nz/whats-on/off-centre/