This holiday season, Travels With Brindle is eager to take us up to 'Rudolph’s Ranch'.
The lo-fi ukulele indie-pop project from Cambridge songwriter Chelsea Spear concludes its 2022 sad-core singles series with its first-ever Christmas song, an allegory set against the biggest holiday of the year.
In keeping with the spirit of the holidays, proceeds from sales of the single will be donated to Bread of Life Kitchen in Malden.
'Rudolph’s Ranch' arrives complete with single artwork inspired by the Little Golden Book children’s series and a music video directed by the comedian/filmmaker duo Emily Hulme and Peter Sikosky, filmed in the couple’s Chongqing district of China. The track is released on November’s Bandcamp Friday with a pair of b-sides: A cover of Big Star’s 'Jesus Christ', and a Travels With Brindle original called 'Sister Cities'.
The unveiling of 'Rudolph’s Ranch' closes out Travels With Brindle’s 2022 singles series – which began over the summer with 'Ivan' and strummed through the fall with sad-core standouts 'Linden Street' and 'Something’s Wrong' – and reveals another track from her Notes From Undergrad album, due out in early 2023.
And like the previous singles, and the rest of the forthcoming album, 'Rudolph’s Ranch' takes inspiration from Elif Batuman's 2017 novel The Idiot, which takes place over the protagonist Selin's freshman year at Harvard University in Cambridge, not too far where Spear once cut her musical teeth as a busker. It retains Travels With Brindle’s uncanny knack for musical melancholy, and now she takes her stripped-down and heartfelt sounds from the brick and asphalt streets of Cambridge to the frozen snow-covered corridors of the North Pole.
'In The Idiot, Selin reads an Intro To Russian text called 'Nina in Siberia' that foreshadows some of the events that happen later in the book,' Spears says. 'I got a prompt to write a song about a place from an online songwriting group called Theme Music and I decided to write a song inspired by those passages in The Idiot. The title of the song came from an observation my sweetheart made; when I complained to him that most reindeer farms were named for their towns, he said 'you’d think at least one would be called Rudolph's Ranch'. And thus a song was born.'