I don’t know if you’re aware but I am seriously in love with The Rubens. I play them as much as I can on my radio show, I write about them, and I replay their debut album, The Rubens, constantly. It’s somewhat ridiculous how devoted to this band I am. Actually, one of the driving reasons for me buying a ticket for Gov Ball was because of The Rubens. I just really wanted to see them live to confirm my suspicions that they’re a really brilliant band.
I was right.
Summer means festival season and this year The Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island in New York City has an interesting lineup with a variety of artists from different genres. Many of the bands playing this year are quite new, having formed and released a debut album in just a few short years. One of these fresh, new bands include The Rubens, a four-piece from a tiny town just an hour south of Sydney. Comprised of three brothers Sam, Elliott and Zaac Margin and their friend, Scott Baldwin, The Rubens shot to national prominence in Australia after they debuted on Triple J’s Unearthed radio station and their single “Lay It Down”, was voted #57 most favorite track on Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2011.
Their set at Gov Ball was admittedly, performance-wise, pretty average. But it was their first time performing in a festival and they were relatively unknown since their album hadn’t been released in the US yet. Nevertheless, music-wise, they were fantastic. Sam Margin’s voice is so perfectly flawed and by that, I mean that it cracks and smooths over notes in just the right places. I was at the front and near center, singing along to every song because their debut album is one of the few albums I can honestly say I’ve listened from the first track to the last track straight through. If you like The Black Keys, Ball Park Music, or Cold War Kids, you’ll definitely dig The Rubens. Their debut album – and hopefully a tour – is coming to the US soon.