Ryan Leas

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Mina Tindle – “Indian Summer”

Back in June, the musician Pauline De Lassus announced her latest album as Mina Tindle, Sister. So far, we've heard a some impressive stuff from…
Ryan Leas | September 16, 2020 - 5:09 pm

Will Butler – “Bethlehem”

Next week, Will Butler will release his new album Generations. So far, we've heard two advance singles, "Surrender" and "Close My Eyes." Today, he's back…
Ryan Leas | September 16, 2020 - 10:07 am

Jordana – “Divine”

It's been a busy, productive year for the young songwriter Jordana Nye. Back in March, she re-released her 2019 debut, Classical Notions Of Happiness; the…
Ryan Leas | September 15, 2020 - 4:58 pm

Marika Hackman – “Realiti” (Grimes Cover)

The last we heard from Marika Hackman was just over a year ago, with her great album Any Human Friend. Now she's back with a…
Ryan Leas | September 15, 2020 - 2:50 pm

slowthai – “Feel Away” (Feat. James Blake & Mount Kimbie)

Last year, the British rapper slowthai released his debut album Nothing Great About Britain, and he became a star pretty much right away. The album…
Ryan Leas | September 15, 2020 - 1:37 pm

Lambchop – “Reservations” (Wilco Cover)

In March of 2019, Lambchop released their latest album, This (is what I wanted to tell you). But Lambchop has always been a unique beast,…
Ryan Leas | September 15, 2020 - 10:09 am

Jeff Tweedy – “Guess Again” & “Love Is The King”

Jeff Tweedy is a prolific man. Since 2018, he has released a memoir, two sister albums, and a new Wilco album -- and that's just…
Ryan Leas | September 15, 2020 - 9:00 am

Trump Declares Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain” The Greatest Music Video Of All Time

One of the more amusing and unexpected turns in recent history is the fact that, somehow, Axl Rose is woke. His Twitter presence is often…
Ryan Leas | September 14, 2020 - 8:17 pm

The Anniversary

Lisbon Turns 10

The Walkmen were a New York band. The group's members hailed from the DC area, but had made their name and their lives in New…
Ryan Leas | September 14, 2020 - 12:33 pm

Sounding Board

Scary Monsters Summed Up Everything About David Bowie

There are all kinds of well-established career tropes in pop history. There's the visionary wunderkind debut, when an artist arrives fully-formed and with a whole…
Ryan Leas | September 11, 2020 - 1:20 pm

A Certain Ratio – “Berlin”

Back in June, A Certain Ratio announced they'd be returning with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco. So far we've heard singles…
Ryan Leas | September 10, 2020 - 4:31 pm

Shame – “Alphabet”

Back in the beginning of 2018, the British post-punk group Shame released their debut album Songs Of Praise. They soon accrued a fervent following and…
Ryan Leas | September 10, 2020 - 1:15 pm

Bruce Springsteen – “Letter To You”

Last year, Bruce Springsteen released a new album called Western Stars. It was a solo record of songs rooted in a '70s singer-songwriter vein, and…
Ryan Leas | September 10, 2020 - 10:08 am

mxmtoon – “ok on your own” (Feat. Carly Rae Jepsen)

The young ukulele-slinging star mxmtoon released her debut album, the masquerade, just about a year ago. Since then, the singer-songwriter -- who's otherwise known as…
Ryan Leas | September 9, 2020 - 3:12 pm

Album Of The Week

Album Of The Week: Doves The Universal Want

Doves did not end on a high note. Their last album, Kingdom Of Rust, combined little strands of everything they’d done before, trying to balance…
Ryan Leas | September 8, 2020 - 12:20 pm

Comments from Ryan Leas

I intended to do one back then — beyond the transition in their own career, I had a whole idea about how it symbolized the hinge between the early '00s NYC retro rock thing and the ascendent Brooklyn indie at the end of the decade. I can't remember why I wasn't able to do it in the end, I might've been on tour or something.
+13 |
September 14, 2020 on Lisbon Turns 10
Looks like it got pushed back again — it's 9/18 now.
+2 |
August 28, 2020 on Black Thought – “Good Morning” (Feat. Pusha T, Killer Mike, & Swizz Beatz)
Having grown up with one of those northeast Italian-American families... I can't say I heard much about our Italian-Australian brethren, no. That being said Australia in general was sort of a big mystery to me when I went.
+4 |
May 21, 2020 on Welcome To New Italy: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s First Interview On Their Anticipated New LP
This is my ranking these days I think. And OK yes Sound Of Silver is pretty much perfect I just docked it a little cuz I've always felt like "Watch The Tapes" and "Time To Get Away" aren't quite on the same level as the rest but like, it's not as if they're bad and they do make sense in the flow of the album.
+4 |
May 15, 2020 on This Is Happening Turns 10
They would obviously a main entry on this short list.
+6 |
May 13, 2020 on Band To Watch: Silverbacks
That song is really something. My other favorite is "Drop Me Down."
+5 |
March 13, 2020 on The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
"Alright" kinda gives me Binaural vibes but that might partially be because he sings the words "thin air" in the chorus.
+2 |
March 9, 2020 on Premature Evaluation: Pearl Jam Gigaton
There's also this.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WUh3DPouDs&feature=youtu.be
+19 |
March 9, 2020 on The Monitor Turns 10
I've gone back and forth on LB and Backspacer a decent amount but I don't really get why people would like other 21st century PJ and hate LB either. In particular, hearing the title track live really made it fit into their overall body of work for me — if I didn't know the album at that point I could've imagined it being an older song. And I still think Infallible and Pendulum are cool.
+1 |
March 9, 2020 on Premature Evaluation: Pearl Jam Gigaton
Hmm yeah I don't know if it's that kind of album. Maybe "Who Ever Said" and "Quick Escape," though the chorus in the latter is more anxious than triumphant. My favorite songs are the mellower ones, so there's strong material I'd want to see them play live but I suspect they'll lean on the rockers more. Very curious how they're going to translate "Dance" live.
+6 |
March 9, 2020 on Premature Evaluation: Pearl Jam Gigaton
Yeah, he plays drums on "Indignities" as well.
+2 |
February 13, 2020 on Nation Of Language – “Rush & Fever”
I don't know that the site has anything against that album, I can't remember why we didn't do an anniversary. Speaking for myself, and maintaining the whole "they don't make bad albums" bit... it was my initial gateway Spoon album but became my least favorite over time. I don't think it's as interesting as the ones from the '10s, or as memorable as the albums immediately before and after it. It feels a little more stuck in its time to me. But like I said in the piece... that's the thing with these guys. That's just my ranking, and I totally get why some people have it towards the top.
+4 |
January 17, 2020 on Transference Turns 10
Drawing Radiohead parallels is not where I expected this to go but now I'm thinking of They Want My Soul as the glossier, prettier night album with all these new sonic touches and ... A Moon Shaped Pool kinda did the same thing after TKOL, too. What is Radiohead's Hot Thoughts gonna be like...
+14 |
January 17, 2020 on Transference Turns 10
It's no "Manhattan" by Kings Of Leon. JK...the Cat Power one is good. Writing this kinda made me want to write a whole list of NYC songs. Barely scratched the surface just listing some really big ones in the article.
0 |
September 9, 2019 on “Empire State Of Mind” Turns 10
Guys, they still call me Young Classic Rocker Ryan Leas on staff - I know about Belew. But I still think it’s kinda weird for people to compare a 2019 band to both of them when you consider the historical signifier of “King Crimson as an influence” is a little different than “Talking Heads as an influence”
0 |
July 19, 2019 on The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
Yes, that too. (Transference was one of my favorites for years but over time TWMS has edged right up towards the top for me.)
+13 |
June 25, 2019 on We’ve Got A File On You: Britt Daniel
I think this is a very apples and oranges thing in the sense that "experimentation" is relative according to whichever realm an artist operates in. Holly Herndon is making strange, beautiful electronic music partially using fucking AI to do so...naturally, it is more experimental by most metrics of mainstream taste, and it's also great. So it's not really a value judgement, in my opinion. When I say the National are "experimenting," it's within the context of them being an indie band that headlines festivals and has songs featured on movie soundtracks or in commercials. It's within the context of their own writing, and trying to take a pretty granular look at how it changes a bit from album to album. So within that context, Bryce's classical work creeping over into the National more and more here, having these choral breaks or sidelining their frontman, does strike me as an experiment. They're not over here searching for New Music, but they are testing the limits of their work and their past. Anyway I guess the TL;DR is I think both these artists are excelling at what they do, and pushing themselves within what they do, and it is OK to like both!
+28 |
May 13, 2019 on Premature Evaluation: The National I Am Easy To Find
"Cattails" is one of the best songs I've heard this year. I wasn't joking in the blurb. I've had it in my head literally every single day since I got the album.
+12 |
April 5, 2019 on The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
Yeah "Cruel Fisherman" isn't technically part of the album so we didn't get into that one.
+4 |
March 22, 2019 on The Story Behind Every Song On Strand Of Oaks’ New Album Eraserland