Ryan Leas

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Premiere

Cindygod – “Gosh”

Back in the beginning of the decade, Andy Rauworth and Craig Nice played together in Gauntlet Hair. The project ended in 2013, but the two…
Ryan Leas | December 6, 2018 - 10:02 am

Interview

The End And Beginning Of Amen Dunes

When someone says they want to show you a piece of Old New York, there are certain locations you might imagine. Maybe a far-flung corner…
Ryan Leas | December 3, 2018 - 2:01 pm

Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: The 1975 A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Fourteen minutes and 30 seconds into A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, the 1975 almost grasp immortality. "Fucking in a car/ Shooting heroin/ Saying controversial…
Ryan Leas | November 26, 2018 - 2:04 pm

Hear The National Cover Bob’s Burgers Thanksgiving Song “Save The Bird”

Last year, the National released their seventh album, the stunning and haunting Sleep Well Beast. A sonically adventurous album that grappled with marital strife and…
Ryan Leas | November 22, 2018 - 12:01 pm

Premiere

Silverbacks – “Just In The Band”

In the past several years, there's been a small collection of exciting artists coming out of Dublin who are offering idiosyncratic, raw interpretations of the…
Ryan Leas | November 22, 2018 - 10:00 am

Fontaines D.C. – “Too Real” Video

Over the last year and a half, the Dublin post-punk/garage rock band Fontaines D.C. have built up quite a bit of buzz in their homeland…
Ryan Leas | November 12, 2018 - 12:00 pm

Sounding Board

10 Memorable Acts At Iceland Airwaves 2018

Far from its origins as a small event in an airplane hangar, Iceland Airwaves has steadily ballooned into an all-encompassing experience that takes over Reykjavik…
Ryan Leas | November 12, 2018 - 9:12 am

The Anniversary

Up Turns 20

There are a couple ways you can divide up R.E.M.'s career. Considering they are a band that released music for just about 30 years, almost…
Ryan Leas | October 29, 2018 - 2:47 pm

Interview

Miya Folick Is Transforming In Plain Sight

The first thing you'll notice about Miya Folick is that voice. She's just one of these people: There's a natural gift there, and she has…
Ryan Leas | October 26, 2018 - 12:38 pm

Sounding Board

Out On Open Seas: The Enduring Mystique Of The Waterboys’ Fisherman’s Blues 30 Years Later

Sometimes you hear an album and there is no immediate way to make sense of it. There might be hints, small ways in which you…
Ryan Leas | October 25, 2018 - 11:47 am

Premiere

HÆLOS – “Buried In The Sand” Video

Two and a half years ago, the London-based trio HÆLOS released their debut album Full Circle. Following the buzz around their single "Dust," the album…
Ryan Leas | October 23, 2018 - 5:00 pm

Artist Portraits From Desert Daze 2018

Last weekend, the seventh installment of Desert Daze took over Lake Perris in Southern California. For months, the festival had been updating an already impressive…
Ryan Leas | October 17, 2018 - 4:31 pm

Sounding Board

Desert Daze 2018 Was An Oasis Among American Festivals

For years now, Desert Daze has arrived in October like a mirage in the landscape to which it owes its name. It's a sudden oasis,…
Ryan Leas | October 15, 2018 - 2:49 pm

Westerman – “Albatross” Video

Earlier this year, we named the London-based singer-songwriter Westerman an Artist To Watch based on his stunning single "Confirmation." Since then, he's continued to release…
Ryan Leas | October 10, 2018 - 1:55 pm

Premiere

Keegan Powell – “The Door”

Up until now, Keegan Powell's work could mostly be heard within the context of the Captured Tracks band Chastity, for whom he serves as guitarist…
Ryan Leas | September 27, 2018 - 10:00 am

Comments from Ryan Leas

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
Personally, this week is Flasher Week for me and nothing else but...I did say "one of" ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
+9 |
June 8, 2018 on Stream Flasher’s Infectious Debut Album Constant Image
https://twitter.com/pattymo/status/992521717795958785
+56 |
May 4, 2018 on Smash Mouth Mouth Smash
I think it's the main one that could rival it, personally. I swear I remember Scott referring to TMOF as their "second best album" at one of those shows and I was wondering which he'd consider #1 if that was the case ... feel like it could be Pedestrian Verse
+6 |
April 13, 2018 on The Midnight Organ Fight Turns 10
I've always loved "Raindrops + Sunshowers" and thought I was completely alone in this. My favorite of the MACHINA era, potentially. As for others you shouted out...those Mellon Collie cuts like "Fuck You," "Porcelina," "XYU," "Bodies"...they're indeed all songs people don't seem to shout out as much. When I first got this album at about 15 or 16, those were some of the highlights for me actually. "Porcelina" is still one of my favorites. Nice to see you and a few others mention "Sweet Sweet" as well. It's such a perfect, weird, beautiful little song.
+3 |
February 15, 2018 on The 10 Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs
I was *this close* to knocking off "Drown" for "Real Love" but that would've been a more idiosyncratic, totally personal 10 best.
+5 |
February 15, 2018 on The 10 Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs
Been meaning to — I actually heard mixed things about that one but I definitely want to check it out.
+5 |
February 8, 2018 on Is Microsoft’s Paul Allen The New Jimi Hendrix? An Investigation
I'm not totally sure where this came from but you're completely right on JJS. That book's incredible.
+3 |
February 8, 2018 on Is Microsoft’s Paul Allen The New Jimi Hendrix? An Investigation
You don't know how tempted I was to put that on the list. I saw them do that with the "All My Friends" tag in 2015, before they were doing it frequently, and hearing them unexpectedly play a mash-up of my two favorite songs just about knocked me out.
+8 |
February 5, 2018 on The 10 Best Hot Chip Songs
Yeah me either, but maybe you're right — it just sounds kinda bleak, thanks to the production and some of the songwriting, compared to a lot of their other records. But man, you're talking about an album that's got something as weird and beautiful as "Of The Girl" next to "Insignificance," or the pairing of "Light Years" and "Nothing As It Seems." It's always been more than a stretch to consider it their weakest, IMO.
+4 |
February 5, 2018 on Yield Turns 20