Last October, Born Ruffians
graced our CMJ week showcase at Spike Hill in Brooklyn. The quartet brought their uppity sounds, playing to a crowd of jumping fans who sang along for the whole solid 30 minutes of fun.
Born Ruffians are a group of young Canadians who play minimalist, quirky indie rock in the vein of bands like Ra Ra Riot and Tokyo Police Club. The band has put out two albums on Warp Records since 2008, the first one being nominated for an Independent Music Award. They have toured with bands like Franz Ferdinand and Hot Chip, and even appeared on British teen series Skins. On April 16, Born Ruffians will release their third album Birthmarks
If you want a front-row spot for these promising Canuks, check out our live video from their show. You'll get an ear full of catchy guitar jangle, and a face full of bass.
Born Ruffians from Toronto, Canada here. Were writing to tell you weve just finished our third album Birthmarks. When we wrote our first album, Red, Yellow & Blue, we all lived in a house in downtown Toronto. We jammed in the basement, which meant whenever we had an idea we could work it out right there that moment. Our second album, Say It, was different. Wed moved out of the house to separate apartments and wrote the record in a rehearsal space over a 6 month period.
This time, we had no interest in going back to the rehearsal space. Instead we went back to the roots of our debut and lived together again. The three of us plus Andy, our fourth member now with us to fill out our live show, spent a spring and a fall isolated at a haunted farmhouse in rural Ontario.
Living together and not relying on a shitty rehearsal space was important to us. We wanted to be able to write when the idea was fresh, stop when we got stuck, and pick everything back up whenever we wanted. Being on a farm where we were isolated and could turn up as loud as we could was important.
These songs Birthmarks came out of a dusty living room in an old house, in between chopping wood and build- ing bonfires, playing crokinole at the kitchen table, cooking family dinners and shooting beer cans with a bow and arrow. Wed wake up, head downstairs from our rooms, and write.
While some of Birthmarks was born on the farm, many of the songs were conceived long before. Luke would write and demo constantly on his laptop, at home, on tour, in Toronto, Montreal, Midland, Australia, France, Germany, everywhere. Several songs were realized during the recording process in the studio.
After we felt we had a strong group of songs we booked ourselves into Boombox Sound and spent most of 2012 moving in, out and around there with producer Roger Leavens and engineer Marcel Ramagnano tracking some 15 songs and figuring out the sound of the album. Luke had just finished doing an album of his own at Boombox so the environment was warmed up and ready for the band to come in. Luke worked closely with Roger on the produc- tion of the record, bringing sounds and parts of demos in from his laptop and dropping them into the studio, often building from there. The sound of the record was largely shaped by freedom of time and the new ability to manipu- late a song over the course of several days or weeks until it was ready.
We dont want to tell you about what we think we sound like. We can tell you that this record will sound different. These songs lived with us, toured with us, got drunk with us and made our ears ring. Now, we get to hit the road and start making your ears ring. It took us almost three years writing all over the world, several months of farm life in the country, and a calendar year at Boombox Sound to finally finish Birthmarks. We think its time to show you what Born Ruffians birthed.