post-dusk is Ruby Smith, Brisbane producer and multi-instrumentalist who earlier this year shared debut single ‘PDFC’ which enjoyed attention across national and community radio, local and international publications alike.
Smith now shares a video for the hazy, dreamy track which she wrote, performed, produced and mixed herself while halfway through an honours thesis in psychology.
Created in tandem with director Pernell Marsden and director of photography Samudranil Chatterjee, post-dusk has created a mysterious, awe-inspiring realm bathed in gold glitter and candle light.
‘PDFC’ is just the first taste of post-dusk’s debut EP which we will see released before the year is out.
I reviewed ‘PDFC’ earlier this year and this is what I had to say:
“The moment the chords open up on post-dusk’s new single “PDFC” you relax into the groove of this amazing little heartbreaker. It swoons and aches like a late afternoon connecting directly to that part of your eternal sigh for a better place. This song is pure perfection and beautifully ethereal, I just fall deep inside of it every time I hear it and it becomes a glorious explosion of escapism that is heightened ever so magically when the vocal melodies weave in and out like a cool breeze. It’s like being caught in a divine shiver and it just takes over your body and you get fucking elevated to some truly righteous places.
I love when pop music is moody and atmospheric as opposed to being sticky and obvious. That’s exactly what “PDFC” is, a moody masterpiece that connects due to its darkness as opposed to its sunshine. It takes an artist to be able to be this direct and deep. What “PDFC” illustrates is the importance of a solid and consistent groove in order to build the atmosphere and mood of a song. The simple drone gives “PDFC” the direction it needs to unfold with the array of keys and synths flowing over this track with a Twin Peaks spookiness allowing for the guitar lines to erupt enough Cocteau Twins via Sonic Youth orchestral tone to provide the ethereal frame. This is a pure dream pop masterpiece and the kind of song that belongs on a mixtape for someone you are secretly crushing on.
The vocal performance and lyrical direction of “PDFC” is a simple ode to the desperate pulse of loss and I know it’s a typical thing for me to search for in most music but I think it is a musing on the power and turmoil of death. It may be masked inside the rhythm of a break-up song but I think at the core of the song lyrically is an ode to the angst of loss and the claustrophobic fear of aging in a world that prefers to move quickly as opposed to being a slow cheetah. Regardless of the muse it is clear that post-dusk is yearning for escape from the crippling sting of routine and for an extreme new experience to help her feel comfort and satisfaction with the moment as opposed to the dense haze of being stuck in the fear drenched cycle of feeling powerless and unable to stop the motion of time. The real joy is the way it connects and relates with your own personal experiences and provides the ultimate pain relief from your own life dilemmas.
“PDFC” is a timeless piece of art carefully crafted and communicated to ensure that all of your emotions are beautifully serenaded to a place of extreme relaxation and dislocation. This song is a personal and very warm invitation into the world that post-dusk creates for you and although the song is awash with personal and very relatable experiences it is the stylistic swoon of the dream pop genre that allows you to engage with her landscape but to also instill your own imagination and to arrive at a place of pure escapism. This movement of music is very open and as a result it provides you the ability to become tangled in your own ache stained sighs for the one you love / loved with the only logical resolve to hit repeat on your stereo in order to sail deeper into the beautifully delicate yet emotionally raw sound of post-dusk’s music.
This song will not just become the most trusted pain reliever but also the early morning rush of a sunrise after spending an evening of discovery in the arms of someone you hope will learn to love you back.
There is a very famous lecture that Nick Cave gave about the importance of the love song that I’d like to quote in order to conclude this review. The following quotes are important to understanding what post-dusk communicates as an artist and what makes “PDFC” so important:
“Though the love song comes in many guises – songs of exultation and praise, songs of rage and of despair, erotic songs, songs of abandonment and loss – they all address God, for it is the haunted premises of longing that the true love song inhabits. It is a howl in the void, for Love and for comfort and it lives on the lips of the child crying for his mother. It is the song of the lover in need of her loved one, the raving of the lunatic supplicant petitioning his God. It is the cry of one chained to the earth, to the ordinary and to the mundane, craving flight; a flight into inspiration and imagination and divinity. The love song is the sound of our endeavours to become God-like, to rise up and above the earthbound and the mediocre”
“We each have a need to create and sorrow is a creative act. The love song is a sad song; it is the sound of sorrow itself. We all experience within us what the Portuguese call Suadade, which translates as an inexplicable sense of longing, an unnamed and enigmatic yearning of the soul and it is this feeling that lives in the realms of imagination and inspiration and is the breeding ground for the sad song, for the Love song is the light of God, deep down, blasting through our wounds.”
“The love song must be born into the realm of the irrational, absurd, the distracted, the melancholic, the obsessive, the insane for the love song is the noise of love itself and love is, of course, a form of madness. Whether it be the love of God, or romantic, erotic love – these are manifestations of our need to be torn away from the rational, to take leave of our senses, so to speak. Love songs come in many guises and are seemingly written for many reasons – as declarations or to wound – I have written songs for all of these reasons – but ultimately the love songs exist to fill, with language, the silence between ourselves and God, to decrease the distance between the temporal and the divine.”
This accurately describes what post-dusk has done with her music and with “PDFC” she takes a deeper plunge into the abyss of her hurt shaped experiences in order to clean her wounds and create an incredibly divine movement of music. The safety of pop music is not on the agenda here and whilst this song has hooks it is the overall atmosphere of loss and despair that lets it hang inside your heart and soul. You carry this music with you and it buries itself deep inside of you long after you’ve listened to it. A song like “PDFC” will haunt you and wrap itself around you like a warm blanket. Like all great pieces of art it is not an instant or easy communication to digest but this is not music designed purely for the beat of major label consumerism. This is music created by someone who has loved and who has been damaged by the madness of it but who also uses heavy optimism to communicate just how much joy she gets from the rush of rejection and connection.
On “PDFC” post-dusk proves that depth, intensity and atmosphere are more important to the successful communication of pop music than the emptiness of one hit wonder world domination. I feel privileged to be able to review this song because it provided me with so much personal comfort and I’ve only lived with it for seven days. I look forward to what long term listening will do and how “PDFC” will soundtrack the many more adventures I plan to take into the landscape of broken hearted disco dancing and new romancing. This is a flawless song from a true artist who has successfully entered the realm of being one of the few modern contributors to the timeless dialogue of beauty, honesty and truth.”
By: Dan Newton