Sun Down Under
After the Australian and New Zealand craze in the past couple of years, there’s sort of a void in indie pop, a ghost of the Naked and Famous, the Temper Trap and maybe even Gotye. Never fear, The Ruby Suns are here! The Kiwi group delivers their new album, Christopher, packed with lush tones, heavy synths and cute/vibrant melodies.
“Desert of Pop” starts off with a punchy four-on-the-floor beat, but quickly withdraws into a Dirty Projectors’ style verse. The vocals are somewhat ’80s/new wave fare, airy and sensual. “Dramatikk” and “Kingfisher Called Me” further continue the group’s heavy synth pop sound. However, almost halfway through the disc, not much has changed. Melodically, Tears For Fears comes to mind, which isn’t a bad thing, but the type of safe, sanitary sheen coating on these type of vocals gives the listener little to hold on to. Groups like M83 and Neon Neon emulate that ’80s sound with much more attention to dramatic buildups and breakdowns.
“Starlight” sort of changes the pace with a much more diverse range of sounds, albeit digging again into retro synths and drum machines of past. The latin influence, combined with the Yamaha-style synths give off a sort of 16-bit video game vibe.
“Heart Attack” closes the album and fully utilizes Ryan McPhun’s Morrissey-esque melodies. Morose, yet fully danceable at the same time, “Heart Attack” is the one track that should have been placed earlier on in the record. Although Christopher doesn’t hit as hard as it should, it proves there is still interesting fun and interesting indie music coming out of Australasia, or anywhere for that matter. Perhaps, Christopher is one to be better enjoyed live: inebriated, sweaty and with all your friends in a dark yet sparkly club.