Sunday, February 17, 2008


At my place of work we listen to The Ruby Suns' first album at least once a day. I told Ryan Mcphun (their main man) this in an interview the other day and he was surprised, because he's sick of it now (it was released about two years back in New Zealand; it took a while to see release here in Australia) and after listening to Sea Lion, their new one, I can see why that record seems like such a long time ago. The new one is a mixed bag of tropical pop, mixing tribal Animal Collective-style vibes with Tropicalia sounds linked together with experiments in texture and space. It's quite amazing, and somehow, a logical move forwards from their first. You'd probably know more about this if you were from New Zealand and saw them play regularly or even if you just went to see them at Ric's on Saturday night (unlike me...duhhh) but still I can enjoy Sea Lion on a daily basis much more than the first because there's so much more to it. What's to it is terrifically skewed pop; interesting sounds, drawing from other musics out there and bolstered with a sense of melody that could belong only to The Ruby Suns.

Here's a few bits from the interview:

re: new album

“It’s very little like the first album, completely different in a lot of ways. The first one was made on the tail end of my Beach Boys phase. I was trying to do a particular pop thing but as soon as it was released, I was sort of finished with that, getting more interesting in dirtier and noisier stuff. The new album is a lot noisier. People have said it has kind of a South Pacific feel to it. I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Tom Ze, so it has that sunny sort of vibe”.

re: live

“We try not to be obvious. A lot of it is to keep us interesting in what we’re doing. One of the ideas we’ve been having is to be very visual. Of Montreal totally go all out and I read something that Kevin Barnes had said; like ‘well, we’re actually playing a show and we’re entertaining, we’re not just going to stand there and look bored if people are playing to see shows’. It makes a lot of sense to us, even if we haven’t really done the dress up thing. We just try to have fun really.”

re: Sub Pop

“I think if anything getting this record deal helps to justify what I’m doing. It can help keep me motivated as far as creating and recording goes. It allows me to explore more weird and eccentric ideas because I feel like people are actually going to hear them. Its one thing to record music and show it to your friends and play shows around New Zealand. That has a really short life, it’s always going to be the same people coming to shows”.

[Ruby Suns MySpace]

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