The Ruby Suns
Orbiting around founder member, Ryan McPhun, The Ruby Suns really hit their stride when they signed to legendary US label, Sub Pop, and gained a college following in America and New Zealand.
A New Zealand citizen (born in California) Mcphun is an insatiable traveller, absorbing varied elements of pop and world music as he travels, then assembling them into the unique Ruby Suns sound. Known for his "soft" vocal approach, and relaxed, yet jubilant, style, Mcphun brings a refreshingly human touch to contemporary, experimental pop music. The Ruby Suns manage to fit perfectly on the new music scene, without sounding like any of their peers. Instead they just keep on moving, in terms of location, and music.
2010 saw the release of "Fight Softly", the bands third album, the second on Sub Pop, and with it a surge of international interest in Ruby Suns, that saw Ruby Suns include Dot to Dot 2010 in their worldwide tour schedule.
Like a best-of 2009 mixtape, New Zealand's the Ruby Suns combine delicate electronica with African sounds and tender vocals. Suffice to say, their ballpark's fielders might include Vampire Weekend and Animal Collective. Having mixed it with the Very Best and El Guincho too, you can see why they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most interesting acts of the last few years with a global musical outlook. The Grizzly Bear-like Two Humans mainly repeats the phrase "conversational high" over oohing-and-aahing keyboards but remains lovely and Cranberry – which fades in on jungle drums, goes all Hidden Cameras-jolly in the chorus and fades out on what sounds like large grasshopper noises – could be a hit single. With sounds plucked from here, there and everywhere, it's an ambitious collection, but singer Ryan McPhun's gentle voice lends this second album by the Kiwis a beautiful tone.