Photo credit: Meg Houghton
“…dusky vocals and personal, forthright lyrics” - Vince Leigh, Australian Radio Promotion.
“…her songs are engaging, humorous, witty and many folks will identify with the stories within her lyrics” - David Pendragon, Producer and Sound Engineer, Pendragon Studios.
“…a sound that is all at once distinctively ‘Ruth’ whilst evoking hints of other Australian icons like Sia and Courtney Barnett” - Her Canberra
Ruth O’Brien is a singer-songwriter from Canberra, ACT/Ngunnawal Country.
Her girlish yet powerful voice combined with her metaphorical, storytelling, songwriting-style effortlessly draws the attention of people of all ages.
Influenced by the sounds of jazz, soul, pop, folk and classical music, Ruth is able to create a sense of vulnerability and intimacy in her performances, leaving people feeling connected to the experience.
Ruth grew up listening to and appreciating the catchy sounds of pop. A child of the 90s, Ruth’s first musical crush and emulatable vocalist was the blonde-haired, American teenager, Taylor Hanson.
A few years later, Ruth heard the unique and unmistakeable vocal stylings of Katie Noonan and the rest was history. Awe-inspired by what Katie demonstrated the human voice to be capable of, Ruth set off to become the best singer she could possibly be.
Completing a Diploma in Music Performance in 2013, Ruth has performed hundreds of times, both original and cover songs, at many of Canberra’s most popular venues and events. In 2014, she received funding from the Australia Council to write, record and release her debut EP, Invaluable.
Ruth has had many amazing performing opportunities as a vocalist and songwriter including at the 2016 Australia Day Live Concert, at the National Folk Festival 2022, as a support for Sydney singer-songwriter NGAIIRE, and in April will support her music hero, Katie Noonan, on the Joni Mitchell’s Blue 50th Anniversary tour, in Springwood, NSW on the 14th Apr, Canberra on the 15th April, and Goulburn on 16th April. To book and find out more about the tour, click here.
In her 10+ years working in the Australian music industry, Ruth has gained local and national acknowledgement and recognition for her dedication and passion for the sector. In 2020, she was invited to join the board of the National Live Music Awards (NLMAs). She was also a juror for the Australian Women in Music Awards 2022 and has been a member of the ACT Minister’s Creative Council since January 2022.
Ruth writes the local column for BMA Magazine every month and is also the founder of Upbeat CBR - a social enterprise supporting musicians and industry workers with business and admin skills.
In 2020, Ruth received funding to record her second EP, Song For Abby, which will be released in May.