It remains to be seen whether or not Virb will supplant MySpace as the site de rigeur for indie bands trying to get their music heard by the Web masses. One can certainly hope for that, but there is such a thing as traction to keep in mind. Still, plenty of bands have been making their way onto Virb, and in doing so, have brought with them a plethora of free music to check out.
One such band is Blood Ruby, a soulful dreampop trio based out of New Haven, Connecticut. The fact that I mentioned “dreampop” should prepare you for all manner of Cocteau Twins-isms in the trio’s music. And it’s true, there are shimmering, swelling guitars aplenty in their songs, courtesy of Margaret Browning and Thomas Well. And there are also layer upon later ethereal female vocals, thanks to Browning and co-vocalist Cynthia Conrad.
The band currently has two collections of songs available, in their entirety, on Virb: Chicago Demos and Recent Songs. Both are full of delightful little gems. Right now, my favorite track is the aptly-titled “Sleepwalk.” Here, the “soulful” aspect of Blood Ruby’s music becomes apparent, as the two vocalists let their voices mix in a manner that’s as seductive as it is ephemeral. Meanwhile, sparse electronics flutter about amidst watery synths and lovely guitar cascades.
Time and again, I’m often reminded of the now-defunct Love Spirals Downwards, back when they released albums such as Idylls and Ardor. However, for all of their drifting and sighing, Blood Ruby occasionally lace their music with a slightly brittler edge, be it vocals that have a thin layer of icy detachment to them, eerie radio samples, or the occasional guitar solo that threatens to shred apart the otherwise delicate songs.
All of which ends up working quite nicely in the gloomy, night-soaked world in which the group’s music flourishes.