For many of us, music was an escape from the hardship of 2020.
The Rubens have just returned with their fourth album, 0202, which comes three years after the release of their previous record, LO LA RU. An anagram or backward spelling of what was an incredibly difficult year, 0202 is far from a backward release – boasting everything from alt-rock to R&B, hip hop and pop, the album sees The Rubens at their most ambitious yet.
Some of the recognised singles from 0202 include the ARIA-nominated ‘Live in Life’, ‘Heavy Weather’ and ‘Time Of My Life’ – a song the band chose to dedicate to the Year 12 group of 2020, who were tasked with navigating their final, and most significant, year of schooling amidst a pandemic.
To celebrate The Rubens’ new album, we asked each of the band members to offer a song that helped them get through 2020. Here goes!
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Sam Margin (lead vocals, guitar) – ‘Are You Even Real?’ by James Blake
I was blown away by this track when I first heard it. It was in every playlist I made. I mowed the lawn to it, drank to it, dug to it, and fell asleep to it. Bravo, James.
William Zeglis (bass guitar) – ‘Anytime You Need a Friend’ by Mariah Carey
Everyone needs a friend especially when you’ve had a too many sherbets at two o’clock in the morning on a Tuesday night. There’s a reason why she is a household name.
”Mariah Carey … Messiah Carey”
Scott Baldwin (drums) – ‘Animals’ by Architects
Look Sam has really stuffed up my choice here haha. ‘Are You Even Real?’ is just a fantastic fusion of modern Travis Scott with Blake. I love it.
However I’m going to shift gears completely here and nominate Architects‘ ‘Animals’ for a straight up hard vibe. It was one that I probably didn’t grab onto straight away but over time it was a steering wheel hitter jam for me. In a year where touring wasn’t possible, it was fun to really get on the kit and practice some songs that I really wanted to learn and ‘Animals’ was up there on that list.
Elliott Margin (keyboards, backing vocals) – ‘Spicy’ by Ty Dolla $ign ft. Post Malone
This for me is one of those songs that I clearly remember hearing for the first time because it was too damn good. I was driving and god damn did I want to grab my phone right then and there so I could save it immediately, but I didn’t because that’s dangerous in terms of causing an accident and expensive in terms of getting caught on your phone.
Zaac Margin (lead guitar) – ‘New Slaves’ by Kanye West
Not a new song but was high up there on my Spotify 2020 list, the verses and production are amazing but it’s also got the best outro of all time. It’s easily the best one minute and 23 seconds of recorded music I’ve ever heard.
The Rubens’ new album, 0202, is out now via Ivy League Records. Score a copy here.