When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Ivan Solimani-Lezhnev and his associates fled their house metropolis of Moscow for Tbilisi, Georgia, and later Kaş, in Turkey. They have been unwilling to remain in a rustic run by an authoritarian regime who holds such devastatingly reverse beliefs to theirs.
Inevitably, the battle has seen Russia ramp up its already draconian censorship legal guidelines. It’s now a legal offence punishable by as much as 15 years in jail for Russian residents to publish info – even in a social media put up – that runs counter to the Kremlin’s narrative. Maybe that’s why Solimani-Lezhnev is reserved after I ask about his escape. “It’s been aggravating,” Ruby Goon’s frontman and founder says, shaking his head on Zoom from the Turkish seaside city. “However it is a nice metropolis – the music scene right here is generally covers bands, so we thought it could possibly be place to come back to as musicians.”
Below ordinary circumstances, Ruby Goon aren’t a covers band, however a free-spirited group making psychedelic rock that’s as vibrant and vibrant because it is stuffed with coronary heart. A fixture of Moscow’s underground scene, they developed out of Solimani-Lezhnev’s earlier band, Speaky Spiky, earlier than recalibrating and discovering a house for his or her debut album, Model New Energy, on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy imprint. The label was one among many Solimani-Lezhnev contacted throughout the pandemic, feeling that there was a glass ceiling on what he might obtain in Russia – significantly singing in English. “All of my associates love Connan Mockasin, and I knew he was on Phantasy,” he explains. “After I informed them we’d be on the identical label as him, we simply acquired so drunk. We have been so completely happy about it!”
Ruby Goon may need its roots in Russia, however the band’s musical schooling spans the globe, be it by way of New Zealand’s Mockasin, the club-leaning experimentalism of the UK, or Solimani-Lezhnev’s expertise dwelling within the US. Aged 11, he moved to Washington, D.C. together with his household, the place his dad labored as a TV cameraman. It’s the place he first started writing songs, the place his mother and father gave him an iPod preloaded with the works of Linkin Park, and the place he was first uncovered to jazz and delta blues. “America gave me lots,” he nods in gratitude. “I acquired very fortunate. The White Stripes particularly blew my thoughts and that’s what began me digging by way of Wikipedia and YouTube. That was my basis.”
You may hear traces of this musical historical past on Model New Energy. Buried within the layers of Spicy Area Pasta – a track impressed by a personality from the action-adventure recreation Past Good & Evil – is a storage rock stomp. In the meantime, the affect of psychedelic jazz and blues is all around the file, from the frosty swing and nimble guitar solos of Chilly Wind to the melancholic minor chords of Leech!
The file’s lyrical themes, although, create a compellingly despondent ambiance. “This album is about damaged hearts. It’s very onerous for me to [move away from] this topic, particularly again then,” he says, noting that the songs have been all written a couple of years in the past. “Music has at all times been a filter for my feelings.” The file’s title, he provides, portrays the impact he desires his work to have on those that take heed to it. “I want to suppose that this music will deliver individuals some new feelings or that individuals will hook up with it. I write songs after I can’t discover music that displays how I really feel in a specific second.”
Solimani-Lezhnev is already making headway on album quantity two, impressed by The Beatles and the Mexican Summer season-signed band Drugdealer. “We’re recording it very slowly,” he smiles. “I feel it’ll be much more vintage-y sounding.” In the meantime, he’ll be acclimatising to his new life. “I’m very grateful that that is taking place. It’s a miracle, to be trustworthy.”
Feels like: Ahead-thinking psych fused with the free spirit of jazz
Soundtrack for: Lazy summer season days spent considering life
Our favorite tune: Film Groovie
File subsequent to: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Connan Mockasin
Discover them: @rubygoon
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