Tiny Ruins are a band based in Auckland, New Zealand. Conceived in 2009 by songwriter Hollie Fullbrook to describe her solo output, the group now includesCass Basil on bass, Alex Freer on drums & Tom Healy on electric guitar. Traversing early influences of folk and blues, Tiny Ruins' sound draws on ethereal and grungy soundscapes alike. Sometimes likened to Nick Drake, Mazzy Star or Nico, Fullbrook’s voice and guitar work evades cliché, making use of alternate tunings by way of her own self-styled fingerpicking. Lyrically one of a kind, stories are laced with a dark humour that is at times disarmingly confessional, at others, cryptic and philosophical.
Fullbrook was born in Bristol, England, before moving to New Zealand with her family at the age of ten and settling in West Auckland. She learnt the cello from a young age, picking the guitar up and writing songs from her early teenage years. Asked to support Alasdair Roberts in Sydney, May 2010, she was soon signed to Australian indie label Spunk Records on the strength of some demos. Tiny Ruins' debut Some Were Meant for Sea was released in 2011 and saw critical praise for its minimalist approach & lyrical flair. Recorded by Fullbrook and producer Greg ‘J’ Walker (Machine Translations) in a small hall in South Gippsland, the album was voted 2011's Album of the Year by BBC World Service arts & culture programme ‘World of Music’ and was a finalist for New Zealand's Taite Prize in 2012. Tours of New Zealand, Australia & Europe followed, with Fullbrook performing solo, and later as a duo with Cass Basil on upright bass, supporting The Handsome Family throughout the UK.
Joining forces with drummer Alex Freer, Tiny Ruins evolved into a three-piece, recording a bluesy EP, Haunts, together in the Waipu bush, before working with Tom Healy at The Lab in Auckland on their second album, Brightly Painted One. Championed by the New York Times, NPR and David Lynch, it won Best Alternative Album at the New Zealand Music Awards in 2014, and saw a joint release by labels Bella Union, Spunk Records and Flying Nun. Tiny Ruins have undertaken several international headlining tours, both in a solo capacity and as a band, opening for Calexico on their 2013 Australasian tour, Sharon Van Etten across the USA in 2014, and an eclectic array of opening slots, from Beach House, Joanna Newsom and Father John Misty to Neil Finn, Ryan Adams and Leon Bridges.
Most recently, Fullbrook has collaborated with drummer Hamish Kilgour of The Clean. An EP recorded in Brooklyn with producer Gary Olson, Hurtling Through was released in November 2015, featuring two poems by W.B.Yeats set to music. The band are currently working on their third album.