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The Rua Bio

Jan 14, 2015

By: Deanna Beaudoin

In Hebrew, ruah is a term with many meanings: spirit, breath, the movement of the wind, the space between heaven and Earth, the essence of a group. The Rua—siblings Roseanna (guitar, lead vocals), Alanna (piano, vocals), and Jonathan (violin, vocals) Brown—dropped the "h" when they adopted the moniker, but embraced all of those meanings in writing their soaring, larger-than-life debut album. It's no coincidence that the record is titled 'Essence,' as it captures the spirit of these three in all their effervescent, passionate, and imaginative glory.

The Rua Press PhotoThe Rua Press PhotoCourtesy of The Rua

Rua, infused with a myriad of Gaelic connections, also refers to the Browns’ Irish roots. The trio, who live together in Windsor, England, grew up singing in choirs and were classically trained, often learning pieces composed in different languages. “It taught us the foundations,” says Alanna, who at 24 is the oldest member of the group. “You learn what works and what doesn’t early on.”

Friends of The Band

The Rua are joined for live shows and in the studio by ex-Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison (who co-wrote the classic ‘One Way Or Another’) and Portishead drummer Clive Deamer (Radiohead, Robert Plant, Siouxsie Sioux). The eleven original tracks on ‘Essence,’ produced by Bob Rose (The Beach Boys, George Harrison), highlight the sound of three very sophisticated siblings on the cusp of adulthood, discovering themselves and their unique potential at a defining moment in their lives.

The Rua Recording The Rua Recording Courtesy of The Rua

Despite the stirring strings that appear throughout the album, the first word that comes to mind when listening to The Rua isn't classical, but rather classic. Described by the UK's Classic Pop magazine as "the missing link between Haim and Fleetwood Mac," their songs blend timeless elements of 70's AM rock, traditional folk, and cinematic pop, richly orchestrated and elegantly arranged.

Just three normal teensJust three normal teensCourtesy of The Rua

To craft their idiosyncratic sound, the group draws inspiration everywhere from Wagner, Debussy and Fauré to Taylor Swift, The Corrs and The Cranberries to film soundtracks, especially John Williams, fantasy and sci-fi.

Harry Potter & Beyond

Self-proclaimed “filmaholics,” The Rua might look familiar because you've seen them on the big screen. All three siblings have appeared in the Harry Potter movies and the film Stormbreaker, while Roseanna, 22, can be seen in Snow White and the Huntsman and Thor; Jonathan, 19, in Dark Shadows; and Alanna in Closer. Their acting experience prepped them for performance, but they’re quick to distinguish the differences between playing otherworldly characters and baring themselves in the studio and on stage as The Rua.

“In the band, it’s just us and who we are,” says Roseanna. “No acting involved.”

The Moment of Impact

"You won’t forget the first time you heard The Rua. It will be on a day such as this when nothing feels right and it seems like as good an idea as any to fill the silence with reason. Songs very rarely make you stand up and sing but Fight For What’s Right just might. And you could stand here all day and say that The Rua sound like this and The Rua sound like that but it wouldn’t get you anywhere – you’d still be standing up and singing." - 

Despite their very collaborative writing process (most songs bear the fingerprints of all three), independence is a major theme in The Rua's songs. Album opener "Fight For What's Right" is an epic ode to standing up for what you believe in, while "I'm Okay" and "Without You" touch on trusting in your own self-reliance.

Exclusive Music Video "Fight For What's Right"

"'Without You' is a song about knowing that that you're fine on your own," says 22-year-old Roseanna, whose raw, expressive vocals shift between intimate delicacy and explosive power. "There are people at some point that you think are the most important people in your life, but you learn that you don't need other people to make you who you are."

Fueled by an insistent kick drum and spare guitar line, "Into The Crowd" showcases Roseanna and Jonathan's tight vocal interplay as they trade off lead and harmony roles. That cohesion comes effortlessly for a group that has grown up together and understands each other not only by musical talent but by blood.

Family Ties

“We aren’t just a band, we’re family,” says Roseanna. “We know each other and our strengths, and we use them to the best of our abilities.”

Another gem off the new album, "Stand Out" is truly a song that lives up to its name, telling the story of a selfless family friend who, throughout her battles with cancer, always managed to see the best in everyone and inspired the Browns to follow their dreams.

With a debut record this exciting, it won't be long at all before those dreams become reality for The Rua. 

We are very excited for the release of "Essence" later this year. We'll be bringing you a release exclusive to Kidzworld! For more on The Rua check out our Exclusive Interview. 

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