Key Points:

Herald rating: * * * *

Someone at the highest levels of our education system should recruit the Ruby Suns to tour our schools and teach the kids how to play real pop songs.

The Auckland-based band, made up of California-born Ryan McPhun and New Zealanders Amee Robinson and Imogen Taylor, play the type of dreamy pop music that could be just as at home during sing-a-longs on the classroom mat as it is in the pub.


Although they released their self-titled first album in 2005, they are perhaps better known as the band who lost all their gear when their bus caught fire while on tour in the US a few years back. However, with the release of follow-up album

Sea Lion

, and songs like

Kenya Dig It


Tane Mahuta

, the world is about to get a feel good hit of pop for summer.



is perfect for that classroom sing-song and

Tane Mahuta

is a garage party sing-a-long.

But it's not just cutesy pop.

There Are Birds

has a merry discord to it, with a rousing percussive interlude;

It's Mwangi In Front of Me

is lush yet slightly wonky; and

Kenya Dig It

is propelled by a deadbeat Jesus and Mary Chain rhythm. This is intelligent and fun pop music, people.


Lil' Chief


Fun in the sun on second album from local popsters