HIHF’s Favorite Album of the Year: RÜFÜS DU SOL’s “Solace”

It’s only been about six months since I first discovered RÜFÜS DU SOL’s music and in that time they’ve become one of my very favorite groups.

I wouldn’t have known to stop by any of RÜFÜS’s show at Bonnaroo had it not been for two of my friends who didn’t stop raving about them to me ever since I bought my ticket to the festival. I had never given the act a shot, nor even heard of them until I began entertaining the idea of attending said festival.

I ended up making it to the stage in time for their last three songs since the conflicting act didn’t completely match expectations. I saw the Australian trio play No Place – the first single they released from Solace – live for their first time, which is what made me start really listening to them.

Soon after “No Place” came the second single from Solace, “Underwater”, which only made me appreciate “No Place” more. The two songs’ words and sounds express starkly different thought patterns and feelings, yet complement each other perfectly, which seems to be an overarching pattern that RÜFÜS has constructed for themselves. While their first two albums, Atlas and Bloom, are brighter and more upbeat, Solace introduces us to a certain kind of experimental depth and darkness that we haven’t heard from the group before now.

And it works entirely. Every single song on this nine-track album fits perfectly. Every single song on this album also totally pulls on your heartstrings––they’re all filled with wild emotion and correspondingly beautiful, meditative soundscapes.

Taken together, Solace ebbs and flows in the familiar ways that the stages and phases of life often do––the album is one of the more cohesive projects I’ve come across in a while.

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Personal highlights from the project include “Treat You Better“, “Eyes“, and “Lost In My Mind“, but the album is definitely best diving into front to back.

In closing out 2018 with a larger fanbase than ever and an album exploring their different sounds, depths, and talents, we can only anticipate what’s to come from them in the new year and beyond. For all of these reasons, we’re declaring Solace by RÜFÜS DU SOL Heard It Here First’s Album of the Year.

Listen to the album in full here and check out their epic live performances from EForest of “No Place” and “Underwater. Keep an eye out for 2019 tour dates from these rockstars, we certainly will be.

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