ryan downey Running (marbled vinyl LP, £20.75)
The defining feature Ryan Downey’s music is his voice, a jaw-dropping amalgamation of Leonard Cohen and Bill Callaghan by way of a midcentury crooner. Running is a glorious and sparsely constructed 21st century folk gem, not a note detracts from Downey’s rich baritone as he sings a song cycle of humour and pathos. Self-analysis, sex, love and modern life. Deftly plucked nylon string guitar, mesmerizing baritone, pitter-patter electric beats, electric guitar flourishes and rich double bass; Downey has created a musical world unlike any that you’ve heard. This is as close to emotional, musical and perfection as you’re likely to hear on a record this year. Pure magic. Produced by Steve Hassett (of Luluc) and recorded in both New York and Melbourne, Running reveals Ryan Downey as a timeless talent. An incredible debut from an artist capable of balancing cheek and sincerity, classicism and swagger and grandeur and restraint all within a single, composed breath. Tracks: Running / The Big Sink / Renewed / 1+1 (feat. Zoe Randell) / Those Eyes That Answer / Techno Dolls / Forecast / The Weather Song / Love Me, My Meal. / The End. WHITE & BLACK MARBLE VINYL.
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