Having tied the knot years earlier, Brookln and Ruth Dekker came together musically in 2006 in their then home city of Chicago, inspired by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Radiohead, Grandaddy, John Martyn, Jose Gonzalez and Elbow. They called themselves Rue Royale. “We wrestled with the idea of starting a band together for some time,” admits Brookln. “It’s proven transformative.”
The Anglo-American outfit earned their stripes on the Chicago music scene before selling most of their belongings and boarding a plane for Europe, armed with their instruments and self-titled 2008 debut LP, for their first out-of-town tour. The road quickly became Rue Royale’s way of life – with chips and dents in their tour vans’ bodywork testament to nearly 1000 shows in 15 countries.
Having worked with a couple of small indie labels, Rue Royale have largely worked in a DIY fashion. Between tours the couple rustled up a cottage industry at their new home in Nottingham. Together they printed, snipped, sewed and stuffed over 10,000 Rue Royale CDs, including 500 pre-orders for their second album ‘Guide To An Escape’ which they issued independently in 2011. ‘Guide To An Escape’ was picked up by Sinnbus who re-released it in March 2012. The album featured the single “Halfway Blind” which got repeat plays on BBC 6Music by the likes of Gideon Coe when released as a limited edition seven inch.
In 2013, the duo successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign for their third album ‘Remedies Ahead’. Released by Sinnbus, Remedies Ahead’ was well received internationally with radio play across the European continent.
In October 2014, at the close of their Remedies Ahead tour, they hit pause on touring in order to have a child and to write and record their fourth album. “We also needed a break. We were feeling pretty worn down after spending the brunt of the last 6 to 7 years on the road,” recalls Ruth.
“Naively, we thought this would be a restful period,” confessed Brookln. “Instead, the realities of anxiously waking up at home with no tours planned, the insecurities that come with being rookie parents and a growing, self-imposed pressure to write and record something meaningful, proved to be a turbulent period.”
2016 saw the band return with Single Eye and an Echo a 6 song e.p.. Textural, rhythmic and colourful; this batch of songs wields confidence. “We’ve worked tirelessly on these songs. We’re all wrapped up in them. It’s been a fruitful season and we have recorded an e.p. and an album. We feel like we were really able to push the boat out; writing in a new way and working with a wider range of sounds and rhythms. Even enlisting Sean Carey (Bon Iver and S. Carey) to play drums, piano and more,” says Brookln.
The band released Single Eye and an Echo in July 2016 which is to be followed by the album, yet to be named, in 2017.
From page one of the Rue Royale story, there has been a direct relationship between audience and band. Rue Royale have just completed a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to release the e.p. and album independently, continuing the DIY route intending to earn every single follower.