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“I’ve been coming a thousand years / you could call me the endless fuck,” goes the memorable opening line of Rubblebucket’s Earth Worship, a groove-forward, joyously layered collection of songs which work to dissolve the imaginary lines between the natural world and its human inhabitants. The prolific group’s newest record, it’s an album with renewed shimmer, showcasing Rubblebucket’s intricately sparkling beats, hushed-yet-hooky vocals, and irresistible melodic complexity—a celebration of togetherness, environmental curiosity, and the pleasure in doing what you love.
Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth, the group’s front persons, co-writers and co-producers, first began a friendship as jazz students at the University of Vermont. Soon after, they formed Rubblebucket, using the project to delve into pop, funk, dance and psychedelia; performances have spanned Bonnaroo to Glastonbury to their self-curated Dream Picnic Festival, and they’ve collaborated with kindred genre-blenders including Arcade Fire and Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears. But before their musical relationship, Traver and Toth initially bonded over another shared passion: the two were part of UVM’s Sustainable Community Development program.
Sustainability is still a part of their lives: Toth communes with nature as part of his morning routine, and Traver is adept at foraging in the band’s adopted home of New York City. Yet songwriting explicitly about environmentalism in Rubblebucket has felt immaterial—besides, the band has shared its beliefs over the years by inviting anti-fracking, reproductive justice, and other organizations to table at their shows. But Traver was interested in writing love songs for and from the natural world, and both were inspired by their parents’ work in ecology and community facilitation, from which they saw a throughline to music’s communal healing. Traver suggested “earth worship” as a lyrical prompt for their sixth record, and with this concept at its core, the duo began writing an album titled after that very theme.
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