Ryan Leas

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Cigarettes After Sex – “You’re All I Want”

Back in October, the extremely popular Cigarettes After Sex released their sophomore album, Cry. It continued to refine the sound that first brought the band…
Ryan Leas | May 25, 2020 - 8:11 pm

Watch Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss Cover Guns N’ Roses With Members Of High On Fire, Poison The Well, & Cloak

Just the other day, Sleigh Bells' landmark debut Treats turned 10 years old. In another version of 2020, perhaps they'd be gearing up to celebrate…
Ryan Leas | May 25, 2020 - 7:37 pm

Preview Nicolas Jaar’s New Album Telas Out In July

Earlier this year, Nicolas Jaar returned with his stunning new album Cenizas. But it turns out he wasn't done yet -- now he's got another…
Ryan Leas | May 25, 2020 - 6:48 pm

Doja Cat Addresses Incel Chat Room Controversy: “I Personally Have Never Been Involved In Any Racist Conversations”

Through the beginning of 2020, it looked like this year would be nothing but ascendant for Doja Cat. She was achieving viral stardom, and real-deal…
Ryan Leas | May 25, 2020 - 11:46 am


Welcome To New Italy: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s First Interview On Their Anticipated New LP

Even after years of us knowing them, there is still something weird about Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. On the surface, they are a straightforward, classicist…
Ryan Leas | May 21, 2020 - 11:07 am

Squid – “Broadcaster”

The Brighton quintet Squid have been quickly making a name for themselves amongst a generation of exciting young art-rock bands coming out of the UK…
Ryan Leas | May 20, 2020 - 10:01 am

Phoebe Bridgers – “I See You”

Phoebe Bridgers has had a non-stop ascendent few years, and it's easy to forget that she only actually has one solo album to her name.
Ryan Leas | May 19, 2020 - 2:30 pm

IDLES – “Mr. Motivator”

Two years ago, IDLES released their last album, Joy As An Act Of Resistance. The album was widely acclaimed, and deeply beloved. If you happened…
Ryan Leas | May 19, 2020 - 2:00 pm

Madeline Kenney – “Sucker” (Feat. Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner)

Madeline Kenney's last album, her sophomore effort Perfect Shapes, came out in October of 2018. Now, she's returning with a new one called Sucker's Lunch,…
Ryan Leas | May 19, 2020 - 12:00 pm

Album Of The Week

Album Of The Week: Nation Of Language Introduction, Presence

Nostalgia has long since been a dirty word. People use it as a dismissal, of escapism or entrenchment by those too afraid to face contemporary…
Ryan Leas | May 19, 2020 - 10:43 am

Deradoorian – “It Was Me”

After singing in Dirty Projectors years ago, Angel Deradoorian has built up a solo career under her own name. Earlier this year, she announced she…
Ryan Leas | May 19, 2020 - 10:04 am

This Is What America’s First Socially Distanced Concert Looked Like

Earlier this month, it was announced that -- amongst various parts of the country eagerly and almost certainly prematurely reopening -- the first indoor concert…
Ryan Leas | May 18, 2020 - 10:11 pm

Watch Mark Lanegan Cover Joy Division With Cold Cave

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Ian Curtis' tragic death. In an effort to honor his legacy, acknowledge the beginning of the UK's Mental Health…
Ryan Leas | May 18, 2020 - 7:02 pm

The Anniversary

This Is Happening Turns 10

Once upon a time, This Is Happening was a perfect grand finale.
Ryan Leas | May 15, 2020 - 9:30 am

We've Got A File On You

We’ve Got A File On You: Jason Isbell

We’ve Got A File On You features interviews in which artists share the stories behind the extracurricular activities that dot their careers: acting gigs, guest
Ryan Leas | May 14, 2020 - 12:10 pm

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