Listings

    No events to show

Follow

Twitter

|

Facebook

|

MySpace

|

Last.fm

RSS

Subscribe

Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

The Ruby Suns – Fight Softly – Album Review

Surf-psych Kiwi rockers are back with drifting, washy melodies, and euphoric moments.

Written by Rachel Clare

Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A-W 2010 Abigail Daker
Richard Sorger by Abigail Daker.

Before his A/W 2010 fashion show I knew nothing about Richard Sorger, medications but I quite liked the graphic design of his invitation featuring a glossy printed bee – and sometimes this is enough to get me to a show.

Bee on the invite for the Richard Sorger show
Bee on the invite for the Richard Sorger show.

The main area at Victoria House had been curtained off and the space in front had been turned into a small curved catwalk that the models walked around before stopping in a line up against the far wall. Due to a dearth of photographers I was able to take my place in what constituted the pit, shop as the girls tracked towards us. The lighting was a confusing patchwork so there was a lot of grumbling from photographers around me but I think I managed to take some moody shots with no flash.

Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The small collection had none of the graphic simplicity seen in the invite, doctor with the very basic dress shapes somehow grating against the excessive embellishment creeping across them – 3D embroidered bees and flowers alluding to the Swarm of the title, netting spilling willy-nilly off the front of one dress. The colour palette didn’t help – sludgy greys, beiges and menstruation red not being my favoured tones – and making the clothes somehow came across as leaden rather than glamourous.

Richard Sorger A W 2010 Abigail Daker
Richard Sorger A W 2010 Abigail Daker
Richard Sorger by Abigail Daker.

All in all I left finding it a bit hard to believe that Richard Sorger dresses some of the celebs listed on his website – including Courtney Love, Cindy Crawford and Heidi Klum – unless this collection was a big departure from his usual style. But a further search of the blogosphere reveals that he has produced some much more interesting clothes; some of it available for a knock-down price over at ASOS.

I love his oversized flamingo and skeleton arm jersey tees – maybe a lighter, brighter coloured feel is what Richard Sorger does best – ditch the sludgy bulk for next season I say!
Richard Sorger A-W 2010 Abigail Daker
Richard Sorger by Abigail Daker.

Before his A/W 2010 fashion show I knew nothing about Richard Sorger, view but I quite liked the graphic design of his invitation featuring a glossy printed bee – and sometimes this is enough to get me to a show.

Bee on the invite for the Richard Sorger show
Bee on the invite for the Richard Sorger show.

Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The main area at Victoria House had been curtained off and the space in front had been turned into a small curved catwalk that the models walked around before stopping in a line up against the far wall. Due to a dearth of photographers I was able to take my place in what constituted the pit, capsule as the girls tracked towards us. The lighting was a confusing patchwork so there was a lot of grumbling from photographers around me but I think I managed to take some moody shots with no flash.

Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Richard Sorger A/W 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The small collection had none of the graphic simplicity seen in the invite, more about with the very basic dress shapes somehow grating against the excessive embellishment creeping across them – 3D embroidered bees and flowers alluding to the Swarm of the title, netting spilling willy-nilly off the front of one dress. The colour palette didn’t help – sludgy greys, beiges and menstruation red not being my favoured tones – and making the clothes somehow came across as leaden rather than glamourous.

Richard Sorger A W 2010 Abigail Daker
Richard Sorger A W 2010 Abigail Daker
Richard Sorger by Abigail Daker.

All in all I left finding it a bit hard to believe that Richard Sorger dresses some of the celebs listed on his website – including Courtney Love, Cindy Crawford and Heidi Klum – unless this collection was a big departure from his usual style. But a further search of the blogosphere reveals that he has produced some much more interesting clothes; some of it available for a knock-down price over at ASOS.

I love his oversized flamingo and skeleton arm jersey tees – maybe a lighter, brighter coloured feel is what Richard Sorger does best – ditch the sludgy bulk for next season I say!
Ruby Suns - Fight Softly

Poor Ruby Suns. You work for months and months, order day and night, price in a windowless studio writing, recording and producing your third album, tweaking knobs, perfecting your art and getting all excited about it, only to get to release date to find that numerous other bands with a similar musical style and influence have released their latest critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums before you. Gutted. While Yeasayer, Animal Collective and Fleet Foxes bask in the glory of recent albums that made the public and critics alike sit up and applaud, new album ‘Fight Softly’ from kiwi band The Ruby Suns just sounds like more of the same. And perhaps, dare I say it, not even as good? It’s even more disheartening when you think that The Ruby Suns released their first self titled electro indie pop album in 2005, when ‘Fleet Foxes’ and ‘Odd Blood’ were nothing more than a twinkle in their creators’ eyes.

Ryan McPhun – Californian-born, New Zealand resident, and axis on which The Ruby Suns spin – is clearly an expert in the technical workings of electronica and the ins-and-outs of world music. Every possible synth sound is used to the point of overload on this record, with 80s new-wave chord sequences, afro and tropicalia beats, spiralling sustain, echoing electro vocals and close harmonies coming thick and fast to produce an eclectic, experimental and sometimes challenging sound. Like a kid with a new keyboard for Christmas, every button has been pushed and every effect has been used.

It is an undeniably uplifting and, at times, euphoric record with some genuine feel-good moments, such as stand out track and lead single ‘Cranberry’, which makes you feel like grabbing a Pina Colada, donning a Lei and limboing under the nearest low fence. ‘Closet Astrologer’ is an epic, spacious affair, replete with McPhun’s wavering, delicate vocals, echoing beats, wistful basslines and twinkling keys. What seems to be lacking, however, is a bit of raw emotion. This is a very introverted affair – it is strangely detached, and therefore left me cold.

The influence of such records as Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tango In The Night’ and Kate Bush’s ‘Hounds Of Love’ are constantly hovering over this album in such a commanding way that I found myself hankering for “Little Lies” and “Running Up That Hill” rather than “Closet Astrologer” and “Two Humans”. While these two tracks are good, they’re simply not as good as their original influences.

Whether it is because I heard this album after the likes of ‘Odd Blood’ and ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’, or whether it ‘s just not as impressive an album, I was left feeling that ‘Fight Softly’, although interesting, stirring and genuinely enjoyable in places, lacked the innovation, the soul and the jolting originality of it’s contemporaries. Had this record come out a year ago, it might have been a very different story altogether.

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply