Ryan Leas

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Straight To Video

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

Tom Breihan, our in-house video aficionado, is still on vacation. Lucky him! So instead you get me, Ryan, writing about videos this Friday. Your regularly…
Ryan Leas | April 5, 2019 - 2:51 pm


The Story Behind Every Song On Priests’ New Album The Seduction Of Kansas

In the beginning of 2017, Priests released their debut album Nothing Feels Natural. It was a long-awaited confirmation that this was one of the most…
Ryan Leas | April 5, 2019 - 10:25 am

Holy Ghost! – “Escape From Los Angeles”

It's been almost six years since Holy Ghost!'s last LP, Dynamics. Recently, they've been slowly teasing a new collection, due for release on the iconic…
Ryan Leas | April 3, 2019 - 8:31 am


Titus Andronicus Construct An Obelisk

Patrick Stickles does everything with intention. Having now released music via his Titus Andronicus project for over a decade, Stickles long ago proved that even…
Ryan Leas | April 2, 2019 - 9:20 am

10 Best Songs

The 10 Best Doves Songs

By the end of the '90s, Britpop had collapsed. Its primary and ancillary artists alike had taken the ideas and sounds of that dizzying moment…
Ryan Leas | March 29, 2019 - 12:09 pm

HÆLOS – “End Of World Party”

HÆLOS have been teasing their long-awaited sophomore effort Any Random Kindness for quite a while now. Back in October, we got our first preview via…
Ryan Leas | March 27, 2019 - 8:35 am

Black Midi – “Crow’s Perch”

Part of what has made the rise of the transfixing UK group Black Midi so intriguing is the fact that they did it with so…
Ryan Leas | March 26, 2019 - 9:06 am


The Story Behind Every Song On Strand Of Oaks’ New Album Eraserland

Today, Tim Showalter returns with Eraserland, his sixth album as Strand Of Oaks. It almost didn't happen. As the touring behind 2017's Hard Love was…
Ryan Leas | March 22, 2019 - 11:13 am

Band To Watch

Band To Watch: Black Midi

Throughout SXSW last week, there was one question everyone invested in this year's crop of emerging indie names seemed to be asking: "Have you seen…
Ryan Leas | March 20, 2019 - 1:57 pm

The Anniversary

13 Turns 20

Britpop was over. The frenzied moment that had consumed the middle of the decade was in decline, even if not as obviously or tragically as…
Ryan Leas | March 15, 2019 - 1:05 pm

Band To Watch

Band To Watch: Disq

Plenty of bands have long histories, forged from bonds of friendship formed in a distant childhood past. Shared upbringings, shared surroundings -- these can provide…
Ryan Leas | March 6, 2019 - 11:19 am


Celebrating The Genius Of Mark Hollis In 15 Songs

When an artist like Mark Hollis dies, there are different kinds of ripple effects. We see this often now, a celebrated or iconic artist passes…
Ryan Leas | February 26, 2019 - 11:46 am


Flaural – “The Thinker”

The Denver-based psych-rock outfit Flaural first appeared back in 2015, with the release of an EP called Thin King. The next year, another EP titled…
Ryan Leas | February 21, 2019 - 10:02 am

We’ve Got A File On You: Bob Mould

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 | February 20, 2019 - 11:01 am

Pearl Lion – “Himalaya” Video

Jared Scharff has built up quite the resume over the years. Since 2007, he's been a part of Saturday Night Live's house band. While that's…
Ryan Leas | February 19, 2019 - 9:05 am

Comments from Ryan Leas

"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
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