Ryan Leas

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Hear Andy Shauf Cover Bruce Springsteen During A Robot Battle On Virtual Talk Show The Polar Express

Back in January, Andy Shauf released his great new album The Neon Skyline. We named it Album Of The Week and it made our list…
Ryan Leas | August 3, 2020 - 10:27 am


The Story Behind Every Song On Fontaines D.C.’s New Album A Hero’s Death

When we first met Fontaines D.C., they were already exciting. Between early singles like "Hurricane Laughter" and "Boys In The Better Land" and raw and…
Ryan Leas | July 31, 2020 - 11:18 am

The Anniversary

The Suburbs Turns 10

Arcade Fire were already anointed. By 2010, their 2004 debut Funeral was already regarded as a modern classic, a flag in the ground for a…
Ryan Leas | July 31, 2020 - 10:26 am

Knot – “The World”

Earlier this month, the members of the dearly beloved and dearly departed band Krill announced they were reforming, with an additional guitarist, as Knot. Their…
Ryan Leas | July 30, 2020 - 10:14 am

Ela Minus – “Megapunk”

Back in April, the Colombian-born/Brooklyn-based electronic musician Ela Minus shared an excellent new single called "they told us it was hard, but they were wrong."
Ryan Leas | July 30, 2020 - 9:36 am

Health Commissioner Says Chainsmokers’ Hamptons Concert “Mocks New Yorkers’ Work To Flatten The Curve”

Since the pandemic began and put a long, long pause on live music, many of us have dreamt of a time when we might return…
Ryan Leas | July 29, 2020 - 4:24 pm

Madeline Kenney – “White Window Light”

Back in May, Madeline Kenney announced her third album, Sucker's Lunch. After previously teaming up with Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner for 2018's Perfect Shapes, Kenney…
Ryan Leas | July 28, 2020 - 10:41 am

Jordana – “Forgetter”

Back when Jordana Nye re-released her debut Classical Notions Of Happiness early in the year, it came with a couple extra songs that suggested she…
Ryan Leas | July 28, 2020 - 10:13 am

American Dad Writer The Weeknd Cameos On Robot Chicken

Abel Tesfaye has had a busy 2020. He released his latest album as the Weeknd, After Hours, back in March. That album of course included…
Ryan Leas | July 27, 2020 - 9:57 pm

Porno For Pyros Reuniting For Virtual Lollapalooza

The 2020 iteration of Lollapalooza is, like everything else, not happening. But instead of the usual festival experience, Lolla is going virtual. As Billboard details,…
Ryan Leas | July 27, 2020 - 9:26 pm

NY Health Dept. Will Investigate Chainsmokers’ Dicey Hamptons Concert For FuckJerry Tequila

Over the weekend, the Chainsmokers performed a concert in the Hamptons -- it even had a title, "Safe & Sound." It was presented by FuckJerry's…
Ryan Leas | July 27, 2020 - 8:42 pm

Yellowcard Drop Their Lawsuit Against Juice WRLD

In October of last year, the former members of the band Yellowcard issued a lawsuit against the then-ascendent Juice WRLD. The band claimed that Juice…
Ryan Leas | July 27, 2020 - 7:31 pm

Megan Thee Stallion Opens Up About Shooting And Recovery

A couple weeks ago, news broke that Megan Thee Stallion was recovering from multiple gunshot wounds. The information was murky initially, but eventually it was…
Ryan Leas | July 27, 2020 - 6:31 pm

A.K. Paul – “Be Honest”

Back in May, A.K. Paul released a new song called "Hungry Beat," a track he'd worked on during quarantine. It was the first time we'd…
Ryan Leas | July 27, 2020 - 3:03 pm

Watch Members Of Tool, Mastodon, And Primus Cover Rush’s “Anthem”

Back at the height of lockdown, Jordan Olds' Two Minutes To Late Night series started putting together all-star metal bands to remotely perform covers of…
Ryan Leas | July 27, 2020 - 11:19 am

Comments from Ryan Leas

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.
+5 |
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
Man, I think the title track is one of his best songs ever. I was floored when that came on during my first listen.
+4 |
March 22, 2019 on The Story Behind Every Song On Strand Of Oaks’ New Album Eraserland
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