10 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“But there’s a fortune to be had/From telling people you’re sad,” Bill Ryder-Jones sings on pensive opener “There’s Something on Your Mind.” As sardonic as that lyric is, the former Coral guitarist has said he writes better songs when he’s unhappy—and his solo career has been a compelling testament to that. After 2011’s If…, an orchestral score inspired by Italian novelist Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, he retired to his old bedroom in his mother’s house to record the hushed, soul-baring folk of 2013’s A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart before adding ’90s alt-rock to the palette for West Kirby County Primary in 2015.
On Yawn, he kneads that mix into beautiful, expansive reflections on loss and regret. Softly struck drums and sighing cellos accompany hypnotically persistent guitar riffs as each track unfolds carefully and slowly—sorrow this unresolved takes time to express. His words are candid, occasionally barbed and witty: “I remember what we did and when/And the smell of your breath/And even all the names of your d*ckhead friends” (“Time Will Be the Only Saviour”). With his fractured whisper, Ryder-Jones draws you so intimately into his world that it’s startling to finally hear another voice glide into the background of “John.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“But there’s a fortune to be had/From telling people you’re sad,” Bill Ryder-Jones sings on pensive opener “There’s Something on Your Mind.” As sardonic as that lyric is, the former Coral guitarist has said he writes better songs when he’s unhappy—and his solo career has been a compelling testament to that. After 2011’s If…, an orchestral score inspired by Italian novelist Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, he retired to his old bedroom in his mother’s house to record the hushed, soul-baring folk of 2013’s A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart before adding ’90s alt-rock to the palette for West Kirby County Primary in 2015.
On Yawn, he kneads that mix into beautiful, expansive reflections on loss and regret. Softly struck drums and sighing cellos accompany hypnotically persistent guitar riffs as each track unfolds carefully and slowly—sorrow this unresolved takes time to express. His words are candid, occasionally barbed and witty: “I remember what we did and when/And the smell of your breath/And even all the names of your d*ckhead friends” (“Time Will Be the Only Saviour”). With his fractured whisper, Ryder-Jones draws you so intimately into his world that it’s startling to finally hear another voice glide into the background of “John.”

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About Bill Ryder-Jones

English multi-instrumentalist/composer/singer/songwriter Bill Ryder-Jones began his music career as the lead guitarist for popular Hoylake-based psychedelic pop outfit the Coral, with whom he spent 12 years before embarking on a solo career. Influenced by the likes of Ennio Morricone, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, and the pastoral English folk of the late Nick Drake, Ryder-Jones provided the score for the 2009 short film Leave Taking, which was directed by longtime friend Laurence Easeman. The compositions made up the bulk of his debut EP, A Leave Taking Soundtrack, and were followed by further forays into film soundtracks for It’s Natural to Be Afraid (2010), Bed (2011), and Piggy (2012). Ryder-Jones released his full-length debut for Domino, If..., which was based on Italo Calvino's 1979 novel If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, on November 14, 2011. The intimate and far more song-oriented A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart followed in 2013. Moving from the more minimalist folk style of his previous album, Ryder-Jones sought a heavier, more band-oriented sound for his follow-up. Written in his childhood bedroom at his mother's home and recorded in Liverpool, West Kirby County Primary is a deeply affecting album that delves into the singer's personal life. ~ James Christopher Monger

HOMETOWN
Kirkby, Merseyside, England
BORN
1983

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