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Ruth Theodore

Ruth Theodore - Barbed Wire Fence (single)

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Ruth Theodore shares the rousing single “Barbed Wire Fence”, a whimsical and rebellious anthem that celebrates queer love, freedom, and defiance.

Amongst nimble guitar picking, bouncing percussion, and warm horns the track transports the listener to a romp along the picturesque River Itchen in the British countryside. Through poetic verses and catchy choruses, Theodore weaves a tale of exploration that paints a vivid picture of the river's charm juxtaposed with the apparent absurdity of the man-made barriers she encounters - both physical and metaphorical.  Whether it's navigating private property or challenging political ideologies and social prejudices, the song's theme resonates with the universal desire for freedom and the courage to defy limitations. “Barbed Wire Fence” asks the listener to question and challenge the barriers that confine us, both physically and mentally, while embracing the spirit of adventure and solidarity in our journey towards liberation. The repeated refrain of "buttercup, we're coming up" serving as a rallying cry against the physical restrictions imposed on the many by the British landowning classes. 

The track is accompanied by a playful visual captured by Theodore’s cell phone in the very locations that feature so prominently in the song’s lyrics.

“Barbed Wire Fence” is the final single to be released in advance of Theodore’s I Am I Am album and follows the February release of the bittersweet ode to an intense love in the balance,  “Hold On Me”.

I Am I Am arrives on May 3rd via Righteous Babe Records, which was founded by acclaimed American folk singer Ani DiFranco. Reflecting on how this partnership came to fruition, DiFranco says "The last time I played the London Palladium, Ruth was on the bill with me. I watched from the wings and was inspired by her authenticity, her connection with my audience, and her free artistic spirit. That night I saw her as a true Righteous Babe. Last fall, when she reached out with her new album, it seemed the perfect time to reunite and help introduce her to North America.” 

I Am I Am will be Theodore’s second outing with the Tony and Grammy Award winning Sickafoose, following Ruth’s popular 2016 album Cactacus. Mathias Kunzli, also returns on drums and percussion for I Am I Am, this time bringing his deft touch as third co-producer.

The release of Cactacus saw Theodore break into more commercial territory, earning rave reviews in mainstream media and music press, ranking #1 in fRoots album of the month, and gaining national airplay on multiple UK radio stations. However, on returning from an EU tour in 2019 Theodore was diagnosed with breast cancer and soon underwent successful chemotherapy treatment that spanned the worst of the pandemic, and beyond. In her hands, this uncertain time was an opportunity to channel her energy into what she loves, creating music every day, and the result is a trove of new material.

With I Am I Am, Theodore will reclaim the momentum of Cactacus to deliver a striking moment of personal celebration. A response to this period of reflection that saw her staring down mortality, and ultimately come out the other side having unearthed pain and beauty that delivered an unshakeable new perspective on the precious ‘now’. In her own words, “everything is amazing”.