12 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s really not Vs. the Silver State. They’re singer-songwriter Matthew Ryan’s backing band and they’re in perfect lockstep here, rolling along with the scenery, haunting the quieter spaces and providing consistent, cohesive support to yet another songwriter squeezing out a new vision from the well-mined alt-country and alternative pop terrain. It helps that Ryan has a voice that immediately conveys sincerity with its raspy twist and dirt-floor realism. The opening cut, “Dolce Et Decorum Est,” flows for seven minutes, personal reflections flashing by in locomotion. “American Dirt” opens things up as an observation of American society while its frustration builds to a cathartic head. The spare, acoustic “Jane, I Still Feel the Same” aches with a knowledge of finality. “Meet Me By the River” percolates with a frustrated rate underneath its sweetly chiming notes. Ryan isn’t the strong, silent type, but the wordy, tenacious troubadour who figures if he’s talked himself into a situtation, he should then be able to talk himself out of it. His captivating vocals make sure you listen.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s really not Vs. the Silver State. They’re singer-songwriter Matthew Ryan’s backing band and they’re in perfect lockstep here, rolling along with the scenery, haunting the quieter spaces and providing consistent, cohesive support to yet another songwriter squeezing out a new vision from the well-mined alt-country and alternative pop terrain. It helps that Ryan has a voice that immediately conveys sincerity with its raspy twist and dirt-floor realism. The opening cut, “Dolce Et Decorum Est,” flows for seven minutes, personal reflections flashing by in locomotion. “American Dirt” opens things up as an observation of American society while its frustration builds to a cathartic head. The spare, acoustic “Jane, I Still Feel the Same” aches with a knowledge of finality. “Meet Me By the River” percolates with a frustrated rate underneath its sweetly chiming notes. Ryan isn’t the strong, silent type, but the wordy, tenacious troubadour who figures if he’s talked himself into a situtation, he should then be able to talk himself out of it. His captivating vocals make sure you listen.

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About Matthew Ryan

An alt-country singer/songwriter in the vein of Josh Rouse and Ryan Adams, Matthew Ryan funnels his rasped vocals and passionate lyrics into a steady stream of somber, melancholic albums. Born in Chester, PA, the young Ryan took inspiration from such artists as U2, the Replacements, and Leonard Cohen. He moved to Delaware and logged several years in a series of bands before signing with A&M Records as a solo artist in 1996. May Day was released a year later, drawing comparisons to Tom Waits and sparking a prolific career that often saw Ryan releasing one album every 12 months. His A&M contract slowly dissolved after the label merged with Interscope Records, and Ryan hopped between labels (including a stint with the U.K.-based One Little Indian Records) before aligning himself with 00:02:59. Matthew Ryan vs. the Silver State, his 11th release in 11 years, arrived in 2008. ~ Andrew Leahey & MacKenzie Wilson

HOMETOWN
Chester, PA
BORN
November 7, 1971

Songs

Albums

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