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“Shameful Tomboy” is the new album by the queer folk-rock songwriter R.Y.F., to be released on October 18, 2019 on Dio Drone

Francesca Morello, aka R.Y.F., unveils herself with her second album, Shameful Tomboy, out on the label Dio Drone on October 18, 2019, available on CD, all digital formats and limited-edition cassette. As the artwork suggests, the ten songs on the tracklist are written on her skin, composed and played over the last two years.

Based in Ravenna, R.Y.F. – the acronym stands for Restless Yellow Flowers and comes from Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita – looks inside herself and takes position on very important topics. After the self-released EP Some Years Ago But Now… of 2012 an the real solo debut Love Songs For Freaks & Dead Souls of 2016, dedicated to all the “different ones” out there, Shameful Tomboy is her most personal work, recorded entirely in analog with vintage instruments and effects and based on a minimal blend of neofolk, sadcore, doom rock and punk blues, with a dark yet warm sound, at the same time rough and melodic. Going back to a background rooted in the 90s, from PJ Harvey to Nirvana, from The Smashing Pumpkins to Tool.

R.Y.F. does everything on her own, dividing herself between brutal/intimate singing and electric or acoustic guitars: “Basically I use a Gretsch Hollow Body and my old acoustic Fender, the first one I ever owned”. The only contribution is from Roberto Villa – responsible for the recordings that took place on tape at L’Amor Mio Non Muore studio in Forlì – which added double bass on the spectral track Raised To Kill, almost in line with Chelsea Wolfe: “We were raised to kill / All we have inside”. Raised To Kill is connected with the essential autobiographical pathos of the title-track, first new song to have been written: “Shameful Tomboy talks about the first slap I received from society, just five years old. At the time I attended an asylum run by nuns and one of them accused me of being ‘shamefuk’ because, as a little fan of the cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, I wanted to play with my reproduction of the castle of Grayskull together with my companions: a ‘tomboy’ behaviour,considered sufficient to destabilize gender roles…. According to the lyrics: “You called me shameful tomboy / And I was only 5”.

The record is a manifesto against intolerance and prejudice, against the religious sense of guilt induced by deceptive rules. Other key episodes are Queer Riot, a manual of “resistant withcraft” (“We need to shout louder / Because they don’t understand”), and the awareness with drum machine that evoke Nine Inch Nails and Peaches of 1st Times (“Then I realize I was really really gay / Cause I can love the world whatever sex it may be”). To continue with the rebellious Lucifer – “No more patriarchy, no more slavery” – and the imperious crescendo with voices in anguishing multiplication of  Silence Makes Noise, where the deafening noise comes from indifference. R.Y.F.’s songwriting is incisive and proudly queer. “I feel super armored, but also full of scars. To be queer is to be what we are, without any social conditioning. Being queer means breaking the fences that someone has decided to impose on others, it means giving back dignity to those who are deprived of equal rights and valuing the ‘feminine’, whick is outraged every day by patriarchy, by men as much as by women. At the cost of having to raise your voice.

In addition to the instrumental Valley Of Tears Invading My Mind, there is also space for the post-darkwave ballad Always Late, as well as for the intense introspection of Take My Soul and All Sweat & Love: “I felt dumb for a long time. But today things have changed: for me, music is a comfort and a communicative need”. It’s time to listen to Shameful Tomboy: life is short and the future is queer!


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