Home Artist Interview Breaking Down “Rising” and More Thoughts from Reuben Bullock

Breaking Down “Rising” and More Thoughts from Reuben Bullock

by Emily Greene

“Rising” by Reuben and the Dark is the uplifting first track of un | love, out October 25. The record follows Arms of a Dream from 2018, which is 4 years younger than his debut album, Funeral Sky. In midst of the upcoming release, the highly anticipated Breaking Bad film chose “Black Water” for the musical backdrop of the official trailer. The momentum is there and brewing.

We caught up with Reuben Bullock to talk about the origins of “Rising” and a little about his songwriting methodology. The song features Bullock’s earthy vocals at the center of a shifting wave of instruments.

to fall in love

and blow away

come what may

my mind is made


Can you talk about the origins of “rising”? What piece of the production came to you first, and how did you build it from there?

This one came about in an interesting way. I played the guitar first.. in sections, the whole song and without thinking about words. I was writing a poem that morning.. early in the morning. By the time my band mate stitched together the guitar sections, I just came into the room and sang some words over it. That night, our guitar player put down the electronic drums on the outro. By the end of the day it all really just came to life. And in a way none of us anticipated.

What musicians were you listening to around the time you wrote this track?

None really.. when I am writing I try and stay isolated.

The first thing I thought of after my first listen to “rising” was about how inevitable change is, and how life is better when you embrace it. Obviously all music is open to interpretation, but what do these lyrics represent for you?

Well.. yes. I get that too. I was going through a painful rebirth.. this song felt like a letter to myself. A reminder.

This is a bit of an aesthetic/superficial question, but why keep the “r” lower case in “rising?” In your past work, that isn’t something you’ve done so I’m a little curious about why you made that choice on this particular track.

I tend to write without a lot of punctuation or capitals.. it just didn’t feel necessary

If I’m not mistaken, “rising” is off of your upcoming album Un | Love (out on Oct. 25). I really love that title, I’d love to hear a little bit about how it came about and how it pertains to the rest of the songs on the album.

It’s something that just stick with me. I put the prefix “Un” before 100s of words. I became really intrigued by the way it challenged the definition. It left me in a place where I wasn’t able to define what it meant. And that’s what this album is to me. And unlearning, an undoing.. allowing an understanding to shift and change and just remain in the mystery.

How long have you been writing music?

About 10yrs

What challenges do you face as a songwriter (if any), and how do you work to overcome them?

My biggest challenge is just maintaining a practice of writing everyday. Honouring that magical place where inspiration comes from. Stepping out of a songs way.. sometimes just waiting for a song. Like fishing.

What’s the best way for fans to keep up with you?

Probably Instagram. (@reubenandthedark)

I checked out your website, and couldn’t help but notice you have a cutlery merch set… I love it, how did that happen?

I’ve been trying to do more thoughtful merch items.. it’s a collab with a Toronto artist @rubysunn it’s hand dyed, chemical free, hemp, handsewn.. bamboo cutlery. For people who want to stop using single use plastics.

To learn more visit reubenandthedark.com/

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Hey, you. I’m writing a book on how to promote indie music.

It’s called How to Promote Indie Music. Pretty straightforward.


Anyway, it’s meant to answer the questions I usually get asked by artists – stuff like:


“What platforms should I do promo on?// How do I do it? // Where should I submit my music?// Do you really know Sandra Bullock?”


It’s out March 2020. You can sign up here for sneak peeks.