In these strange and confusing times, when such puzzling entities as Psy and Skrillex not only exist but thrive, the sound of Ms. Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics might seem like a relic from another (pre-Youtube, pre-Autotune) time—a time when the likes of Aretha, Marvin and Otis were running the show. But in Ruby's humble opinion? It might sound a little different these days, but soul is still alive and kickin'. "Soul never really died, it's just being honored in a new way," she told us. "And I couldn't be happier about that." And after listening to Ruby belt out a tune or two, we agree. This gal's got some serious pipes, and the talented gentlemen who make up the Soulphonics have the chops to match.
Name-dropping everything from '60s R&B artists to Dan Auerbach as musical inspirations in the same breath, it's pretty clear that these crazy-talented musicians are doing something rather unlike anyone else in the game. But even if you don't feel like donning your fancy music critic hat and attempting to identify each and every influence in their pedigree—and there are many—one thing's for sure: this stuff goes straight for the heart. And possibly, depending on which track, the dancin' muscles. (We don't know about y'all, but we can't help but do a little booty-bouncing when we hear "Medicine Spoon".)
While the sound of their debut album, "It's About Time," definitely has a little vintage ring to it, they're not ready to be pigeonholed as a kitschy throwback just yet. "What we're doing is not always going to be this same kind of retro soul," Ruby told us, adding that they don't want to stunt their artistic growth by focusing on just one niche of an entire genre. "But everything we do will have soul in it." And it won't be long 'til the Soulphonics get to show us exactly what kind of evolution they have in mind because the band is already in the studio working on new tracks for an upcoming E.P. to be released later this year, followed by a full-length album and a few singles here and there, as well. In other words, there's about to be a whole lotta aural goodness happening up in here, ATL. And we all get to be the ones who say we knew 'em before their world domination.
Before high-tailing it to tour around the country for the summer, Miss Velle and the gang are bidding ATL farewell with one last hurrah tonight, May 24, at Terminal West. It'll be our last chance to catch them in town until late summer, so get on it and see for yourself why we're head-over-heels. And if you need further proof? Just treat yourself to a quick listen to those pipes: