Ryan Leas

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The Anniversary

Dark Was The Night Turns 10

Indie had a big year in 2009. As the first decade of the century drew to a close, there was a slew of major releases…
Ryan Leas | February 15, 2019 - 10:55 am

HÆLOS – “Boy / Girl”

The British electronic quartet HÆLOS are gearing up to release a new album called Any Random Kindness, their sophomore effort and the follow-up to their…
Ryan Leas | February 14, 2019 - 10:38 am


MELTS – “Echoes” Video

Formed in 2017, MELTS are one of the names popping up in a small Dublin scene of bands offering their own interpretations of the post-punk…
Ryan Leas | February 7, 2019 - 10:09 am

Fontaines D.C. – “Big” Video

Over the last two years, the Dublin post-punk/garage rock quintet Fontaines D.C. have been steadily gaining more notoriety thanks to a buzzy run of singles…
Ryan Leas | February 7, 2019 - 7:23 am

Black Midi – “Speedway”

Having formed barely a year ago, the London quartet Black Midi have already accrued quite a bit of buzz in their native UK. On the…
Ryan Leas | January 31, 2019 - 11:05 am


Thyla – “Only Ever”

A couple months ago, the Brighton dream-pop outfit Thyla announced their debut EP What's On Your Mind. (Previously, we had named them both a Band
Ryan Leas | January 28, 2019 - 10:05 am


Heather Woods Broderick – “Where I Lay”

Over the years, Heather Woods Broderick has built up her name by playing with artists like Efterklang, Horse Feathers, and, most notably, Sharon Van Etten.
Ryan Leas | January 28, 2019 - 10:00 am

HÆLOS – “Kyoto” Video

Back in October, HÆLOS released a new song called "Buried In The Sand." It was the first signal of an impending sophomore album, the successor…
Ryan Leas | January 23, 2019 - 11:04 am

Band To Watch

Band To Watch: Fontaines D.C.

There's been something happening in Dublin. Across 2014 and 2015, a group called Girl Band started to generate international buzz thanks to their idiosyncratic blend…
Ryan Leas | January 16, 2019 - 12:55 pm

Strand Of Oaks – “Weird Ways” Video

Just under two years ago, Tim Showalter released Hard Love, his fifth album under the Strand Of Oaks moniker. It was the successor to his…
Ryan Leas | January 15, 2019 - 10:07 am


We’ve Got A File On You: Sharon Van Etten

We've Got A File On You is a new reboot of an old-school Stereogum franchise. Once called Annotated Media Guide, these are interviews in which
Ryan Leas | January 14, 2019 - 12:40 pm

Pohoda Festival Announces 1975, The Roots, Mac DeMarco, & More For 2019

The last couple of years have seen a trend take hold. In the US, the music festival boom has resulted in what a lot of…
Ryan Leas | January 14, 2019 - 11:40 am

Priests – “The Seduction Of Kansas” Video

Two years ago, the DC punk outfit Priests released their debut album Nothing Feels Natural. The group had already generated buzz with cassettes and a…
Ryan Leas | January 9, 2019 - 9:00 am

Sleaford Mods – “Kebab Spider” Video

The British duo Sleaford Mods don't ever slow down for too long, churning out EPs and LPs one after another. So it shouldn't come as…
Ryan Leas | January 7, 2019 - 12:15 pm

Kanye To Drake: “Don’t Follow My Fucking Wife On Instagram”

Did you really think you were going to get out of 2018 without hearing more from Kanye? Did you really think he wouldn't have to…
Ryan Leas | December 31, 2018 - 4:02 pm

Comments from Ryan Leas

My contrarian opinion is Gimme Fiction is the less interesting passage between Kill The Moonlight and Ga, and I'd happily listen to Transference or They Want My Soul over it any day
+2 |
February 15, 2019 on Dark Was The Night Turns 10
I love Transference, I don't get why people still dismiss it either. But no getting around that Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is perceived as their big contribution to that era.
+14 |
February 15, 2019 on Dark Was The Night Turns 10
I loved this Bon Iver/St. Vincent track "Roslyn" back then https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LKbYhEwUoE Imagine what a collab between the two of them would sound like *now*
+19 |
February 15, 2019 on Dark Was The Night Turns 10
Ha, this actually came up between me and Michael when we were editing this. I guess you could call it a dig...to me they are just very, very of that era. But at the same time, I'd far prefer to revisit their albums than albums from some of the other more prominent/respected names that were also on this comp.
+16 |
February 15, 2019 on Dark Was The Night Turns 10
From what I remember I liked the old Spies better, but maybe I'll have to go back and give the newer stuff a listen again. Also, this is sorta splitting hairs for any of us who don't actually live in Dublin, but they've been kicking around for a little while longer than some of these other names.
+2 |
January 16, 2019 on Band To Watch: Fontaines D.C.
I definitely hear U2 in "Desire" as well. I think you can see it a couple different ways, depending on the light, so to speak. Also wish the Ought album got more love. I was really into it, and they were one of the best live shows I saw this year.
+2 |
December 21, 2018 on The 5 Best Rolling Stones Songs Of 2018
I spent a chunk of my time writing this wishing that "Rent I Pay" had come out this year, too. The Stones vibes are deep with Spoon. As for coolness...the Stones and anyone successfully taking influence from them will always be cooler. Universal truth. That being said, I tried to find a Father John Misty song that made sense for this list, and failed. Definitely more Beatles in his veins. And he's a pretty cool character.
+7 |
December 21, 2018 on The 5 Best Rolling Stones Songs Of 2018
To be honest, I've since gone back and I can hear both. But that being said "Laurel" is still the one I hear much more easily so I'm still a little taken aback by people who hear "Yanny" from the start, without trying.
0 |
December 13, 2018 on Phoebe Bridgers Reviews 2018
Nation Of Language! You are a wise Stereogum reader. They would've had a song on mine if they hadn't been #1 on my list last year.
+3 |
December 11, 2018 on Stereogum’s 90 Favorite Songs Of 2018
As it happens, those are the exact three songs I'd cut. Nice as B-sides, and then the album does all the same messy exploration and introspection but is a better listen overall, IMO. And yeah, feel like "Sad Professor" is one of the best songs from the post-Berry years.
+2 |
October 29, 2018 on Up Turns 20
If I had been doing this as a 10 Best list instead, "This Is The Sea" would've been vying with "A Pagan Place" for #2 behind "Fisherman's Blues." They had a way with title tracks in the '80s.
+7 |
October 25, 2018 on Out On Open Seas: The Enduring Mystique Of The Waterboys’ Fisherman’s Blues 30 Years Later
I have the School Of Seven Bells "What's In My Bag?" to thank for getting into the early Simple Minds albums, now some of my favorite stuff out there. Another '80s band whose story has gotten muddled/lost a bit over the decades.
+5 |
October 25, 2018 on Out On Open Seas: The Enduring Mystique Of The Waterboys’ Fisherman’s Blues 30 Years Later
This occurred to me while writing about the Low album last week, too. And I almost brought that in here, but I probably could've written a whole other piece on top of this about all the ways in which you could hear echoes of these albums, and I gotta draw the line somewhere.
+6 |
September 17, 2018 on Music From Beyond: Talk Talk’s Spirit Of Eden At 30
FWIW, we did have a long conversation about how Hudson has changed, gentrification, and being conscientious of such things. This interview was just really long and there were parts that had to go, but just wanted to throw that out there. And when I told her I was from a similar area, Scranton was the place I was referring to lol
+7 |
September 12, 2018 on Auf Der Maur, Off The Grid
So years ago I did a goofy list of "I'm On Fire" covers here, and I've had to listen to wayyyy too many renditions. I agree those are all some of the best (the Electrelane was a nice surprise) but there was one I didn't know about then that's just recently become one of my favorites. Last year we did an Artist To Watch on this Finnish musician Mikko Joensuu. He released three solo albums at once, a lot of it kinda strung-out-gospel-ambient shit, sort of Spiritualized vibes at times. But he had this old space-rock band Joensuu 1685 (the other two members of which went on to form Siinai and play with Spencer Krug for some of the Moonface releases). They just got back together and I saw them play in Helsinki about two weeks ago, for Flow Festival. There was a warm-up gig the night before the fest, at a tiny club. And halfway through the set they locked into this 5 minute groove, then out of nowhere Mikko stepped up to the mic and started singing the opening lyrics to "I'm On Fire." In person, it was a total shocker, and sounded incredible - think like, if pre-Lost In The Dream War On Drugs had done a 10 minute, buzzing, uptempo "I'm On Fire" interpretation. Here's a live video from back in Joensuu 1685's initial run, in the late '00s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd2q7CajWkg Doesn't quite do it justice in terms of how hypnotic-then-cathartic it is to see them actually play it in person, and now Mikko kinda yelps/screams the lyrics more so the eventual payoff after the long intro is even more intense. But anyway, this is my roundabout way of saying this is a song I've heard a million times by a million people and finally heard it fresh again in Helsinki, out of nowhere. I think there's also an old recorded version of it floating around.
+5 |
August 22, 2018 on Soccer Mommy – “I’m On Fire” (Bruce Springsteen Cover)
When I was first getting into the Stones, I didn't get why that one had a lesser reputation, but then I didn't go back to it for years...funny yr all discussing this, since I recently started listening to Goats Head Soup again after continuously getting "Dancing With Mr. D" stuck in my head out of nowhere. "Coming Down Again" is gorgeous, "Can You Hear The Music" is a great warped summer song. I think it's just one of those albums that suffers by proximity; I like the burnt-out bleariness of it (and, I think, the real beginnings of '70s sleaze Stones), but it's hard to live up as the successor to what (on most days) I'd call the best album of all time.
+4 |
August 17, 2018 on The Number Ones: The Rolling Stones’ “Get Off Of My Cloud”
Is this a callback to a certain New Order Q&A from last year?
+7 |
June 8, 2018 on Dr. Martens Releases Joy Division & New Order Boots
The Technique ones are so lurid I kinda love them but if I actually bought one of these I'd have to go with PC&L...better design, better album.
+7 |
June 8, 2018 on Dr. Martens Releases Joy Division & New Order Boots
I mean, yeah, I hear you, I love that one too. "Your Silent Face" is just this whole other world though. Feel like I'm still discovering that song over and over all these years later. Also, if you open it up to the non-album tracks from that era you've got "Thieves Like Us" to contend with, too.
+5 |
June 8, 2018 on Dr. Martens Releases Joy Division & New Order Boots
I actually haven't had a chance to see them live yet, but I am tonight, on release day. Pretty psyched.
+6 |
June 8, 2018 on Stream Flasher’s Infectious Debut Album Constant Image