I stepped outside my comfort zone a little with Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics as I continue my weekly exploration into the unknown-to-me bands of this year’s Governor’s Ball. I’ve already checked out Paper Diamond and unexpectedly fell in love but that was easy to do, his music is what my generation is trained to like– constant change, heavy beats, and unexpected highs.
Ruby Velle takes a little bit more patience. I will admit at first it all sounded the same to me but that can be, quite frankly, a statement that can be applied to any band/singer/guy with a guitar in the subway station. I had to focus and do away with my bias. That bias being that this is the kind of music my boyfriend listens to and so I naturally tune it out.
I hunkered down with my dog on the couch and went away from my studio for awhile. The first song to really hit me as something special off their 2012 release It’s About Time was “Looking for a Better Thing”. Despite it’s lyrics, the song is upbeat and comes away from the others a little. Ruby’s voice is powerful but can sometimes come off sounding too well trained or clean, like Adele. But this song really picks up on the band’s Southern roots and stays bouncy.
“Coming Home to You” is my favorite on the whole album because it reminds me of Steely Dan with its great crescendos at the chorus line. It’s a song you want to sing along to and one that I can visualize myself winding down to at the Ball after a long day of hip-hop, dancing, and sun. The same goes for “Longview.”
In the end, I can see myself adding Ruby and the Soulphonics to my line-up. Only, of course, if they come on late into the day and all I want to do is sit and sway and listen.