Californian-New Zealander Ryan McPhun is now physically based in Norway but it's anybody's guess where his head is at.
After a four year hiatus since the The Ruby Suns' fourth album, he is apparently coming to terms with fatherhood and a new career in a new town.
With a home studio to play in, he seems to have plunged into a Brian Wilson-esque headspace to create complex rhythms and harmonies in which you frequently get the sensation that at least three tracks are playing at once. McPhun plays all the instruments, does all the singing and is in total control of the production.
I look for visual clues in the official videos to get some inkling as to what it all means. In Pram Gang we follow a woman painted green in a floaty white dress wandering around convenience stores before escaping(?) on the back of a pick up to the country and then to the beach. So that's what the song is about!?
For Waterslide a bearded primitive artist speaks about the need to conceive of "patterns unaffected by objective reasoning" which seems as good a way as any to describe McPhun's musical arrangements.
We are informed that Blahvalene is inspired by Norway's politics and that K Rd Woody is an ode to Karangahape Road, Auckland but there's really no-one apart (possibly!) from the artist himself who knows what it all signifies.