The Ruby Suns: Sea Lion

With a worldly sound that mixes flawlessly with the sunshine pop sound of the California beach bands, The Ruby Suns new album, Sea Lion, shines brighter than their previous self-titled cut.

Some believe this is due to in part to Ryan McPhun’s exodus to New Zealand in an attempt to explore and collect uncharted sounds, in order to escape the California scene in which he had found himself pigeonholed within. Citing a long list of influences, that consist of “Pop music, noise, psychedelia, flamenco, South Pacific, southern Africa, home recording, hiking, traveling, animals, beaches, vegetarian food, especially falafel,” they no doubt stand alone in their sound.

Sea Lion remains more of an adventure than an album. It was intended to feature the ear snacks that McPhun acquired throughout his world travels, yet among the steel-string ukulele, djembe drums and pots and pans, lies distortion and reverb combining the best of both world styles. Honestly, while I could see The Ruby Suns playing The Roxy in Hollywood, I can also picture them headlining an evening at the Hawaiian Polynesian Center. Kudos to them for their versatility.

As for the album’s tracks, which as a whole are all of good quality, two songs seem to outshine the others. Regardless of of the bad pun that comes with it, “Kenya Dig It” turns out to be Sea Lion‘s standout track. It ducks and moves like a kid playing dodge ball, with phrases that remind me in part of The Flaming Lips. They further their cause on “There are Birds,” a song laced with catchy vocals and excellent hand clapping percussion. This duo of songs by themselves push Sea Lion to being deemed worthy of purchase.

You can currently catch The Ruby Suns on tour in the States. Their dates have been confirmed through April. Furthermore, you can grab their album, Sea Lion, in stores starting March 4th via Sub Pop Records. You can also check them out through the following links:

The Ruby Suns Website
The Ruby Suns Myspace
Sub Pop Records

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One Response

  1. […] first seeing them perform this past Spring at the Barbary in Philadelphia following the release of Sea Lion. That night the venue, which self-proclaims it’s got the best sound system in the city, […]

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