10 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Working with producer Chris Coady (Beach House, TV on the Radio, Grizzly Bear), Ryan McPhun has completed The Ruby Suns' transformation into a high-tech electro-pop project with both mainstream and indie impulses. Had the album not been released by the esteemed independent label Sub Pop, there might arguably be no consideration of indie whatsoever, considering how grand these songs sound from start to finish. There's nothing here that dumbs itself down in any way or preys upon mercilessly cloying hooks. The sound is intelligently arranged and super-glossed, while the pumping beats are clearly meant for big dance floors. Any remnants of the lower-fi bedroom-demo feel of The Ruby Suns' early works have been expunged by layers and layers of spaced-out goodness. "In Real Life" takes on a hard-hitting groove and a bass-enhanced flow that brings the chorus into focus. "Desert of Pop," like much of the album, tweaks between the '80s and the 21st century. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Working with producer Chris Coady (Beach House, TV on the Radio, Grizzly Bear), Ryan McPhun has completed The Ruby Suns' transformation into a high-tech electro-pop project with both mainstream and indie impulses. Had the album not been released by the esteemed independent label Sub Pop, there might arguably be no consideration of indie whatsoever, considering how grand these songs sound from start to finish. There's nothing here that dumbs itself down in any way or preys upon mercilessly cloying hooks. The sound is intelligently arranged and super-glossed, while the pumping beats are clearly meant for big dance floors. Any remnants of the lower-fi bedroom-demo feel of The Ruby Suns' early works have been expunged by layers and layers of spaced-out goodness. "In Real Life" takes on a hard-hitting groove and a bass-enhanced flow that brings the chorus into focus. "Desert of Pop," like much of the album, tweaks between the '80s and the 21st century. 

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4:07
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4:13
3:54
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3:50
4:00

About The Ruby Suns

The Ruby Suns combine psychedelic indie pop with world music influences, drawing inspiration from the travels of the group's only permanent member, Ryan McPhun. Although born and raised in California, McPhun's thirst for adventure eventually drew him halfway across the globe, where he ventured into Africa and Thailand before settling in New Zealand. Auckland's music scene was rich, and the multi-instrumentalist spent time in various pop groups (the Tokey Tones, the Reduction Agents, and the Brunettes) while fronting his own act, Ryan McPhun & the Ruby Suns. After releasing a self-titled debut under that moniker, the band shortened its name to the Ruby Suns and signed with Lil' Chief Records, securing distribution deals in Europe and Australia along the way.

The Ruby Suns toured the U.S. in 2006, and McPhun returned home to write and record the band's sophomore effort in his Auckland basement. Inspired by the indigenous music of Africa and Kenya, the diverse Sea Lion -- named after a sea lion colony that lies adjacent to California's Hwy 1 -- was released in 2008 on several labels, including the Seattle-based Sub Pop. Sea Lion helped expand the band's audience considerably, and the Ruby Suns supported its release with a number of tours, including a European jaunt during the spring of 2009. While overseas, the bandmates also spent ten days at a friend's home in Hungary, where they began composing new material. Those songs eventually found their way onto 2010's Fight Slowly, an electro-pop album that Ryan McPhun recorded entirely on his own. In early 2013, McPhun re-emerged with fourth album Christopher. The album moved even further away from the project's homespun beginnings, with enormous production from Grizzly Bear and Beach House producer Chris Coady applied to glassy, big beat electro-pop tracks. The nomadic McPhun soon left the Southern Hemisphere, relocating to Norway and immersing himself in the local Oslo scene to record 2017's dense Sprite Fountain LP. ~ Andrew Leahey

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