Ryan Leas

Read more from Ryan Leas

Gorillaz – “Désolé” (Feat. Fatoumata Diawara)

After spending a good chunk of the '10s focusing on projects besides Gorillaz, Damon Albarn revived his virtual band in 2017 with Humanz. He hasn't…
Ryan Leas | February 27, 2020 - 11:45 am

Disq – “Gentle”

Though Disq have existed in some form since the principal members were in their early teens, they still feel like one of those young and…
Ryan Leas | February 27, 2020 - 9:14 am

Bernie Sanders Announces LA Rally With Public Enemy

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have no doubt witnessed the recent momentum of Bernie Sanders' campaign to become the Democratic nominee…
Ryan Leas | February 27, 2020 - 9:07 am

Margaret Glaspy – “Stay With Me”

Back in 2016, Margaret Glaspy immediately won us over with her debut album Emotions And Math, one of the best albums of that year. Two…
Ryan Leas | February 26, 2020 - 11:02 am

Peel Dream Magazine – “Emotional Devotion Creator”

Peel Dream Magazine are a New York-based band carving out their own sound within a long lineage of psychedelic traditions. Led by Joe Stevens, you…
Ryan Leas | February 26, 2020 - 10:24 am

Jess Williamson – “Wind On Tin”

Jess Williamson released her last album Cosmic Wink just under two years ago. While remaining rooted in her folk and country origins, the album found…
Ryan Leas | February 26, 2020 - 10:15 am

Dirty Projectors – “Overlord”

After solidifying their 21st century indie bona fides with 2009's Bitte Orca and 2012's Swing Lo Magellan, Dirty Projectors sat out the middle of the…
Ryan Leas | February 26, 2020 - 10:08 am

Car Seat Headrest – “Can’t Cool Me Down”

Car Seat Headrest has long had its acolytes, but Will Toledo's project really took off upon the release of 2016's Teens Of Denial. Beyond being…
Ryan Leas | February 26, 2020 - 10:01 am

David Roback, Co-Founder Of Mazzy Star And Rain Parade, Dead At 61

David Roback, co-founder of Mazzy Star and an important figure in the Paisley Underground scene, has died, according to a representative of the band. No…
Ryan Leas | February 25, 2020 - 6:55 pm

Why Bonnie – “Voice Box”

Why Bonnie is an Austin-based band that plays a woozy, dreamy brand of indie. Led by frontwoman Blaire Howerton, the group has been kicking around…
Ryan Leas | February 25, 2020 - 11:08 am

Deeper – “Lake Song”

Last month, the Chicago post-punk group Deeper announced they would soon return with their sophomore album, Auto-Pain. A while before that, we had already heard…
Ryan Leas | February 25, 2020 - 10:53 am

Half Waif – “Halogen 2″

At the end of January, Nandi Rose announced her latest album under her Half Waif moniker. The Caretaker -- the followup to Lavender, one of…
Ryan Leas | February 25, 2020 - 10:10 am

Perfume Genius – “Describe”

The last time Mike Hadreas released a Perfume Genius album was in 2017, when he unveiled No Shape, one of the best albums of the
Ryan Leas | February 25, 2020 - 10:01 am

Sorry – “Snakes”

It feels like we've been looking forward to Sorry's debut album for a long time. One of its highlights, "Starstruck," came out way back in…
Ryan Leas | February 25, 2020 - 9:43 am

Gordi – “Sandwiches”

Back in the summer of 2017, Sophie Payten released Reservoir, her debut album as Gordi. Since then, she's collaborated with a handful of other artists…
Ryan Leas | February 25, 2020 - 9:22 am

Comments from Ryan Leas

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
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