“I was stuck in Austin, Texas over Thanksgiving,” Cole Bauer told American Songwriter. “My roommate was out of town visiting his family, as were most of my friends. So, I spent the majority of the weekend on my ass watching Shameless, listening to Unknown Mortal Orchestra records and noodling on my acoustic.”
To many songwriters, Bauer’s weekend might sound like a pretty nice set-up. Without distractions from the outside world, the young Austin-based artist was able to tap into a creative headspace—perfect for writing songs. Noodling around on his acoustic, Bauer accidentally stumbled across a lick… one thing led to another and before he knew it, he’d written his newest single: “Song For Ruby,” a psychedelic, feel-good tune lamenting a youthful unrequited love.
“I played the intro lick accidentally and then recorded the base layer of ‘Song for Ruby’ in my bedroom in about two hours,” Bauer explained. “I just want people to bop their heads. Maybe make a stank face.”
With a tasteful style, intimate emotional underpinnings and an infectious sense of humor (the bio on his website ends with “If you see him on the street, give him a high five”), Bauer and his artistry release a sense of warmth into the world. Part of that is thanks to the carefree, Mac DeMarco vibe that he gives off; but another, perhaps more important part of it is Bauer’s ear for catchy, uplifting melodies and punchy, Still Woozy-esque production. On “Song For Ruby” specifically, one of the highlights is the track’s swaggering drum part.
“I’m pretty obsessed with the drums on this track,” Bauer said. “I asked my good friend Frankie Catricala to lay down percussion on this song and he absolutely nailed it. His breaks are magical.”
Floating right above those magical drum breaks is Bauer’s laid-back vocal performance, gliding over the song effortlessly while still hitting all the notes and emotional marks just right. While the song’s about an unrequited love, its message speaks to a wider theme of resilience in Bauer’s work.
“I wrote this song because people can’t choose what or who they’re into,” he explained. “But, you figure it out, you sing about it and you roll with it.”
Watch the music video for Cole Bauer’s new single “Song For Ruby” below: