Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Kingfisher Call Me” by The Ruby Suns from the forthcoming album Christopher, due out later this month, on Sub Pop.
Formed in 2004 in Auckland, New Zealand, The Ruby Suns began as an up-beat and ethereal indie-pop group, drawing influences from a variety of world music styles. Led by international indie rocker Ryan McPhun, a sometimes drummer for indie-pop veterans Architecture In Helsinki, The Ruby Suns have made their way through many different countries and sounds over the course of their six-year, four album-career. With Christopher, The Ruby Suns’ latest album composed entirely by McPhun and mixed by Chris Coady (who has worked previously with indie heavyweights Grizzly Bear and Beach House), the rhythmic guitar strums and muddled drumbeats of the past have been replaced by a cleaner, much more powerful sound.
“Kingfisher Call Me,” the first single off the new album, is a synth-heavy and swelling atmospheric rush accented by McPhun’s crystal-clear vocals. “Dry your eyes is what to do/don’t listen to anyone except for you,” belts McPhun to the album’s protagonist, the fictional and somewhat autobiographical Christopher. According to McPhun, Christopher is not merely a boy, but rather the representation of the anxious, arrogant, and all-around horrible feelings that accompany all of us growing up. Written alongside McPhun’s own attempt at starting over, Christopher sets the soundtrack for Christopher’s own uncertain and tumultuous path towards whatever it is maturity is supposed to be.
Due out January 29, Christopher is currently available for pre-order over at Sub Pop. Be sure to also catch The Ruby Suns next month when they roll through Seattle for a show February 17 at Barboza. Find out more about The Ruby Suns on their website and Facebook page. For now, here’s the video for “Kingfisher Call Me,” directed by Frode & Marcus: