Audrey Ryan
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Audrey Ryan

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

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Nov
25
Audrey Ryan @ Asylum

Portland, Maine, USA

Portland, Maine, USA

Nov
20
Audrey Ryan @ Milky Way

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, USA

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, USA

Nov
18
Audrey Ryan @ Toad

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Music

Press


"The musical style is a mix of pop sensibility with a good dose of jazz thrown in. Ms. Ryan's singing style has the sweet touch of melancholy female vocalists from such bands as the Sundays and SixPence None the Richer, but with a tendency for skat and improvisation..." (excerpt from a full article) - Bar Harbor Times (Craig Idlebrook)


"With a voice that's reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, Ryan deilvers her musical message with a fine band...Ethereal and folk based, Ryan makes the most of her enchanting melodies with mesmerizing passages and her airy vocals..." (excerpt from review) - Metronome Magazine


"Ryan is an intriguing new singer. She is a jazz-pop artist whose influences would appear to range from Joni Mitchell to Edie Brickell. And she has a high-pitched voice with original phrasing and backup that includes her own impressively syncopated work on electric, acoustic, and classical guitars, as well as her standout violin lines, which lift a song when you least expect it. Ryan has a literary sensibility, writing about the isolation of the computer age, overbearing friends, and the nostalgia of childhood . Most of all, the melodies glisten at their best. This is a subtly effective album. Let's hope we hear more from her..."
 -Boston Globe (Steve Morse)
- Boston Globe (Steve Morse)


Here are twelve original songs from a funky cool jazz folk rock goddess. Sometimes her soprano voice sounds like Joni Mitchell’s jazzier periods, but other times it takes on the flat effect of a modern singer-songwriter. Most of the tunes are structured around her percussive guitar chord progressions in groovy minor sevenths and other unexpected treats. She also plays violin and is joined by a great band that can’t decide on any one genre, and that’s okay by me. Most of her tunes are more about the feel than the lyrics. The words are more like snapshots than a full movie – you’re not always sure what the plot is, but the images are sharp.

“Nostalgia” starts with a finger picked guitar part and is gradually joined by other instruments. Pictures fly by – “politics of the popular, she was so cool with her namebrands jeans rolled up high.” Yeah, I remember all that. The words for “Watch” are a bit sinister. I love how they contrast with the happy 60s style arrangement with the Fender Rhodes and heavy back beat rock drums. “Espresso Bean,” touting the evils of that brown brew, has a groove as deep as an old Earth, Wind and Fire tune (sans the horn section).

There’s the number about the friend with a dangerous edge (“Slick Chick Sly Fly”) and the beatnik cool “Say Can You,” complete with congas. What really makes this disc different is vibes player Al Marra. He’s on most cuts, sometimes in the background, but he starts “Red War,” misleading you into thinking it’s a soft number. But then a slightly fuzzed guitar slams in, with the first lyric not far behind, “You want blood babe and I wanna bleed.”

Ryan's breathy vocals are sometimes overtaken by the band, and that’s all right if you’re only interested in the vibe. In a way, she reminds me of some jazz writers and vocalists who consider the lyrics secondary anyway. I would’ve liked her vocals a bit more in the front of some numbers though, instead of down in the mix like many rock albums. - Indie-Music.com


"Introspective lyrics, jazzy/retro-esque progressions, and angular riffs that craft an infectious brand of eclectic tunes. This is they type of music that could definitely cause a big stir on the college radio airwaves and earn some well-deserved attention..." - Shut Eye Records


“[Passing Thru] is a lyrical album with unique, multi-faceted sound that’s hard to pin down in a good way. The funky, laid-back grooves of Passing Thru are laced with Ryan’s sweet but mellow harmonies and her honest, raw and cynical lyrics..."

-This quote comes from a full review and article on the album.
- Ellsworth American (Deb Cad)


Long live jangle rock, which is in fine flower on Passing Thru, the debut DC by the Boston singer and songwriter Audrey Ryan. Her lifting voice resembles that of the Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan, and some of the slower tunes on Passing Thru ("Watch", "Nothing Left") recall that group's dreamy languor. (Gorgeous vibraphone work by Al Marra makes for even more dreaminess). But Ryan, who plays the guitar parts and a dolorous fiddle, composes in various styles, so there is also muscular funk ("Slick Chick, Sly Fly," a terrific song about a self-destructive friend) and a handful of Latin-tinged songs. One of the latter, "Run", has a furious Afro-Cuban beat and a political lyric: "Modern Western cowboys setting out with their new hit list/ Eyes set on oil, unaware that they're the terrorists." Another Latin-inflected song, the wistful "Say Can You," has a finger-picked guitar part and a winding melody that conjures up the memory of "Girl From Ipanema," and is there a more pleasant memory?"... - Isthmus (Madison, WI)


"On her debut album Ryan sifts through decades of musical influences in an attempt to create something unique and engaging. Upon first listen, the disc sounds anything but formulaic. With its liberal use of jazz progressions, quick temp shifts and a vast sea of musical influences, the album has myriad sounds and reflections. Ryan and co. combine folk, funk, jazz, Latin and soul in the course of 13 tracks- a pretty ambitions undertaking. Ryan is obviously a well-schooled musician, displaying versatility and efficiency on both guitar and violin. A seasoned singer, she slides through the diverse material with ease...Backing Ryan on the album is a band of technically impressive musicians. Casey Abrams supplies short, punchy bass lines that play off of Peter Kelly's agile kit work remarkably well. Al Marra's distinctive vibraphone work nicely augments Ryan's vocal inflections. Littered with electronic textures ["Watch"] is a big departure from the rest of the cuts on the record. It seems like the best fit for Ryan. While other compositions are good, her material is most engaging when injected with the odd chord change or rhythmic shift. As an emerging artist, Ryan still has plenty of time to develop a sound all her own. If she successfully reins in her obvious influences, chances are she will do just that. - Seven Days (Burlington, VT)


Discography

-2011 "Thick Skin" full length record
-2010 "Cheese is Christ" by the Holey Moley's
-2009 "I Know, I Know" full lenght record
-2007 "Dishes & Pills" sophomore full length record
-2006 EP "Sirens"
-2005 EP "This Town"
-2004 Debut album "Passing Thru"

Photos

Bio

Audrey Ryan is a one-man-band multi-instrumentalist whose music is quirky and genre-bending. She tours regionally, nationally, and internationally supported by Folkwit Records (UK) . She has opened for Suzanne Vega, They Might be Giants, Josh Ritter, Ra Ra Riot, Grace Potter among many others.

Audrey was nominated “Outstanding Singer-Songwriter of the Year” in 2008 and "Best Folk Act" in 2009 at the Boston Music Awards and “Best Female Vocalist” in 2009 and "Best Folk" in 2010 in the Boston Phoenix Music Poll. She was also named the winner of the WXRV "the River" 92.5fm “River Rising Star 2009” competition.

PRESS QUOTES:

A lush, beautifully arranged slice of indie pop, Dishes & Pills is the work of an intelligent songwriter and composer with a clear vision of the music. There are elements of baroque 60s pop such as The Zombies or the Beach Boys, but her clear musical contemporaries are ambitious, sensitive, smart songwriters such as Sufjan Stevens, John Vanderslice, and Feist. - Bangor Daily

Theatrical, quirky, feels orchestral while remaining stripped-down; the Decemberists with a female singer a very good thing. -Mass Live

A genuine weirdo, Ryan's songwriting and vocal style also might remind one of more modern female artists from Bjork to Shivaree to The Softies, and the menagerie of instrumentation is more out on the lunatic fringe � la the Dresden Dolls or Daniel Johnston. It's a truly enjoyable musical schizophrenia that you could listen to 50 times and still hear something different each time. -Valley Advocate

The result is a sprawling epic of indie-folk ingenuity. Structurally, her tunes are pure pop. But she infuses her arrangements with a jazz sensibility, expertly decking out the tunes with all the bells and whistles quite literally, in most cases. Her work here more closely resembles the experimental folk orchestrations of Sufjan Stevens. Like Michigan's eclectic tunesmith, Ryan excels at crafting quirkily diverse soundscapes that augment her intricate wordplay. Also like Stevens, her real strength lies in her subtly engaging songwriting; despite the wealth of aural delicacies found on Dishes & Pills, one gets the feeling that these songs would be just as effective if stripped down to guitar and Ryan's charmingly expressive voice. -Seven Days (Dan Bolles)

Ryan's inventive songwriting, which adds surreal sounds and multifarious instrumentation to a solid folk-rock core, keeps all 14 tracks sounding mostly fresh and original. The wildly diverse instrumentation peppers each song with new trinkets of spacey and intriguing sound that dangles like fish bait around the listener's ear. Her highly personal lyrics are also absorbing. Although most of the songs have a lighthearted feel, the words are often cynical and self-deprecating, addressing topics that range from cancer to dead-end relationships to pills, marijuana and booze. Some of the songs are heavier than others, both lyrically and musically, but the imaginative spirit never wanes. � -The Wire

Quite similar to Aimee Mann, she melds a pretty voice with gently eccentric instrumentation popular in the contemporary indie scene (accordion, glockenspiel), producing results both ambitious and likeable. -Portland Phoenix

Singer-songwriter indie pop goddess. Ryan is like Joni Mitchell and Radiohead playing some kind of hybrid jazz music that- and this is why her stuff is so good - just doesnt exist anywhere else. � -Leo Weekly (Louisville, KY)

Audrey's music is lyrical, eclectic, innovative, and genre-bending. Her songwriting blends together the influences of her parent's generation, Joni Mitchell, Dylan, and Neil Young - her generation, Radiohead, Wilco, and Arcade Fire. The Seven Days in Burlington, VT described Audrey's music as "anything but formulaic. With its liberal use of jazz progressions, quick tempo shifts, and a vast sea of musical influences, the album has myriad sounds and reflections." As a performer she has been hailed nationally both as a gifted songwriter and as a seasoned instrumentalist and improviser. Her nick-name in the Boston scene is "the female Beck".