The Rubens have finally returned with new music.
The Sydney today released “Pets and Drugs”, their first release since their 2021 chart-topping album 0202. The monumental track is quite the way to mark your comeback, delicately fusing existential themes with stirring alternative rock grooves together.
“Pets and Drugs” is co-produced by Konstantin Kersting (Peach PRC, Tones and I, Spacey Jane), and the producer’s familiarity with the band – he worked with The Rubens on their last album – definitely enhances the polished track.
While “Pets and Drugs” contains rather poignant themes, The Rubens were careful to avoid being overly sentimental, as the accompany music video highlights (watch below).
“The clip was birthed from this concept of moving on from adolescence and a coming of age that is more anti-nostalgia and more truthful to real life experience,” the director, Kyle Caulfield says. “Nostalgia in film is often portrayed as these beautiful moments we yearn to relive, and that can ignore the realities and hardships in coming of age.
The boxes are a symbol for darker, more honest moments in adolescence, and are a visual metaphor for collecting and storing emotional baggage and trauma – or rather, learning to accept where we have come from and who we are.”
It’s unclear if “Pets and Drugs” will feature on a new album. As well as topping the ARIA Albums Chart in 2021, The Rubens’ last record was nominated for the prestigious Australian Music Prize. Kersting also received a nomination for Producer and Engineer of the Year at the 2021 ARIA Music Awards for his work on 0202.
They may be just four albums into their career, but The Rubens are already being celebrated by other artists. Earlier this year, Australian hip hop royalty Bliss n Eso covered the band’s classic 2015 hit, “Hoops”, for Mushroom 50.
The Rubens’ “Pets and Drugs” is out now via Ivy League Records.