Saturday, July 17, 2010

What we're listening to: Fight Softly by the Ruby Suns

I hadn't heard of the Ruby Suns before listening to this album, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised.  The Ruby Suns are a New Zealand-based indie rock band with a sound loosely described as psychedelic electro-pop with world music influences (sound familiar?).  Going into the album I was expecting the water-downed version of Panda Bear's Person Pitch (one of my favorite albums ever).  In fact, Fight Softly does remind me of Person Pitch, but more in terms of mood than music.  It's a bright and joyful album that is able to transport your ears to a warmer and happier locale than say... your car during rush hour.  Musically it reminds me a lot of Cut Copy's second album In Ghost Colours. The sound is synth heavy, loopy, and loaded with catchy pop hooks as well as the occasional new wave tendencies.

It took me a couple of listens to get into this album, which is not to say it's a difficult album to enjoy.  As far as world music-tinged indie pop goes, it is slightly less accessible than Vampire Weekend or the Dodos, but much easier to digest than some of the Animal Collective's records (Here Comes the Indian comes to Mind).  The Ruby Suns are definitely on the poppier side of the indie rock spectrum; some songs even remind me of Swedish pop acts like Air France or the Tough Alliance.  Fight Softly has frequently been compared to the Animal Collective, which I don't totally agree with.  It definitely shares the A.C.'s full and experimental sound, but the Sun's definitely have their own unique style.This album is probably most enjoyable if you go in expecting a weird and wonderful pop album rather than the next Merriweather Post Pavilion

Favorite tracks:  "Dusty Fruit" and "Cranberry" are probably the most accessible for Animal Collective fans and were the first songs I loved on the album.  "Two Humans" is a wonderful ballad and probably the most straight forward electronica song on Fight Softly.  However, my absolute favorite song on the album is the lush and dreamy "Closet Astrologer," which shows off singer/ mastermind Ryan McPhun's falsetto. 

Recommended for fans of : Panda Bear, Animal Collective (especially Merriweather Post Pavilion or Feels), Cut Copy,  El Guincho, Neon Indian, Yeasayer (especially Odd Blood), Magnetic Fields.

Find it in the catalog!