I have two strong memories connected to Ontario-based indie rock outfit Born Ruffians. The first was in early 2009, when I saw them perform at The Black Cat between sets from The Harlem Shakes and Toyko Police Club–the two bands I had come to see. I went home directly after the show and scoured the internet for every track I could find, eventually falling in love with their debut LP, Red, Yellow & Blue. There was something exciting about how they played, as if I had just witnessed all of this potential energy begging to be transformed into kinetic–yet refined–musical power. The second memory I have of Born Ruffians was rediscovering “Sole Brother,” the catchy minimalist number from their 2010 LP, Say It, on a 30-minute-long flight from Santorini to Athens last May. The flight was memorable for a multitude of reasons, and “Sole Brother” has been a staple of every playlist I’ve made since then.
Before I melt into a puddle of nostalgia and gooey lurve for the ‘Ruffian Ryders, allow me to get to the point of this post. The band is back with a brand new single, “Needle,” that’s sure to create a third memory up in the ol’ noggin. “Needle” starts out with frontman Luke LaLonde offering his best Fleet Foxes impression, but around the :49 mark the track begins to embody that aforementioned kinetic energy. Their ebullience ebubbles up and ebursts at the seams, revealing a genuinely wonderful track. Now, if only I could afford to go back to Santorini.
Born Ruffians’ third album, Birthmarks, is due out on April 16th via Yep Roc.
STREAM: Born Ruffians – “Needle”