Ross Riskin
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Ross Riskin

Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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Aug
20
Ross Riskin @ The Gap

Avon, Connecticut, USA

Avon, Connecticut, USA

Jul
28
Ross Riskin @ The Space

Hamden, Connecticut, USA

Hamden, Connecticut, USA

Jul
20
Ross Riskin @ Toquet Hall

Westport, Connecticut, USA

Westport, Connecticut, USA

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Music

Press


In this dual acoustic guitar assault, Ross Riskin strums his way into girls’ hearts with sensitive lyrics and laid back grooves. It’s melodic and well played, and Riskin’s voice isn’t bad either. The EP was recorded and produced at home, and it sounds as good as anything else in the same genre. If the goal is to attract high school girls, then Riskin is barking up the perfect tree, and there’s no harm in that.
- The New Haven Advocate


Ross Riskin, Simple Things EP (rossriskin.com). Riskin keeps the focus on his voice and acoustic guitar here with brief flashes of delay-heavy guitar or keyboard plinks adding color. At the outset, his approach works well.

"The City" contains a few smart lines and a melody strong enough to carry it, but most of Riskin's songs could use a band. While the spare, intimate production might suit a guy who plays mellow, pensive pop-rock, few of Riskin's melodies are dynamic enough to stand so unadorned. With the exception of "Simple 37," with its descending guitar line, the spots when he's just strumming and not singing could benefit from some embellishment.

His EP sounds like what it is: a home-recorded disc by a young singer-songwriter (he's 18 years old) trying to communicate in song about the things he's observed and how they make him feel. He's at his best when his lyrics focus on the stories rather than the resulting feelings themselves, and when he has a good melody to back them up.
- The New Haven Advocate


Ross Riskin, 18 year old singer/songwriter from CT easily strums his guitar as his voice lulls you into a dream-state. On his Simple Things EP, he begins with an easy listening song, The City. There's not a whole lot of movement to it melodically, but somehow its just involved enough to work. Break Me Down begins again with the acoustic strum and his vocals beg your echo, "I've been moving at the speed of sound."

Perhaps his best song is My Mind. Its a catchy acoustic riff working a vocal pattern that will please any Dashboard or Plain White T's fan. The EP is extremely minimal; but done in a way that gives you the feel of a home performance. I think the sound will continue to mature with age - its well under way!
RATING: 4 of 5 stars - Awaken Music


Ross Riskin is an 18-year old singer/songwriter from Orange, Connecticut with big aspirations. Recording his debut EP, Simple Things, in his bedroom, Riskin spent months trying out and recording material before selecting the five songs presented here. Riskin recorded direct to tape using his computer, improvising around mistakes instead of overdubbing, giving Simple Things a live feeling that's missing from a lot of recorded media. Riskin's recording process was as minimalist as his arrangements, working with two microphones, a computer and the natural acoustics of his room. The instrumentation here is guitar, voice and occasionally piano.

Simple Things opens with The City, a folk-style ballad that's akin to a musical watercolor, with Riskin painting a moment more than telling a story. The lyrical content here is a bit simplistic and forced, but the musical arrangement is quite pleasant. Break Me Down shows a bit more cogence in the lyrics, with Riskin taking satisfaction in quick pace of life. My Mind finds Riskin affecting a subtle British accent; that aside, My Mind is a great tune. Introspective and upbeat, Riskin has created a tune with real commercial potential without sounding commercial; a nice trick if you can do it. Without Sound borrows heavily from Dave Matthews in sound, but lyrically is unpolished and young sounding. Simple Things closes with Simple 37, seeking understanding and order of life, where truth is static but conditions are always changing. Once again, the perspective is a bit young but the core concepts are strong.

Simple Things cover material written over the last four years, and reflects the artistic growth in Riskin over that span. The EP is a bit jagged in flow as I am guessing the songs presented here are not in chronological order, and so you might go from polished, well-constructed song to young and sophomoric musical venture as easily as the other way around. Simple Things leaves me convinced that Ross Riskin has a future in music, and I would venture that Riskin will continue to grow and develop as a songwriter. Writing and playing with a band would flesh out Riskin's sound a bit while providing creative and artistic tension that would be likely to bring out the best in Riskin. Simple Things is a decent listen, but until he really challenges himself, we won't know what Riskin is ultimately capable of.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
- Wildy's World


He has an amazing voice that when he sings certainly sounds heavenly to the ears. The 18-year-old Singer-Songwriter from Orange, Conn, Ross Riskin, is going to win your heart with his wonderful music that is sure to delight. In this recent interview with the amazing young artist, Ross speaks candidly about his music and making his dreams come true.

Isaac: What was the best part of 2008 for you musically?

Ross: The best part of 2008 for me musically was just gaining the courage to start recording my music and releasing it to the world. I set aside all of my fears and phobias and just let loose. I wasn't concerned about criticism; I was just concerned about sharing my music with the world.

Isaac: What do you feel was your biggest accomplishment for 2008?

Ross: My biggest accomplishment for 2008 was when my song, This Summer, received airplay on 99.1 WPLR New Haven. It's funny because I didn't even hear it live on the air. My friend sent me a text message saying that she heard the song on WPLR, and I was very hesitant to believe her. Luckily, they archived that show so I got a chance to listen to it on my computer. It wasn't the same as radio, but what are you going to do?

Isaac: Describe the music scene in Orange, Connecticut.

Ross: There really isn't a music scene in Orange, Conn. If an artist is looking for somewhere to play, it most likely isn't in Orange. But the surrounding towns/cities such as New Haven, Fairfield, Norwalk, Milford and Hartford provide venues and shows for every night, every genre, and every one. It really doesn't take much to find a place to perform at in wonderful Conn.

Isaac: What has been the best venue to perform at and why?

Ross: I would say that the best venue I have performed at was The Chef's Table in Fairfield, Conn. This small venue doesn't hold many people, but it certainly provides a warm and friendly atmosphere that manages to set the perfect mood for a show. When I performed at The Chef's Table, I found myself surrounded by all my friends and family, and even strangers who managed to shed a smile and nod of approval. That was one of my best shows and I definitely plan on returning there soon.

Isaac: Elaborate a little about whom were your biggest influences in the music industry and why?

Ross: Some of my biggest influences would be bands and artists such as Death Cab For Cutie, Weezer, Third Eye Blind, Dashboard Confessional, Coldplay, and Alexi Murdoch. All of these bands/artists have managed to write powerful music and lyrics throughout the years, and have each played an important role in the formation of my current songwriting style. Ben Gibbard, Rivers Cuomo, Chris Martin, Chris Carraba, and Alexi Murdoch are all men I truly admire.

Isaac: Let's talk about what you feel you will bring to the music industry?

Ross: I feel that I will bring an accepted sense of normality and simplicity to the music industry. I am not an outstanding singer, or an outstanding guitar player, and I believe that you don't have to be. I believe that if you are passionate enough about music, people will listen.

Isaac: If you had an opportunity to work with one artist or group, who would it be and why?

Ross: If I had the amazing opportunity to work with one artist, it would be Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie. Ben is just an astonishing songwriter and musician. He manages to craft the simplest songs that hold the most complex meanings, and vice versa. It would be a true honor to collaborate with him on any level.

Isaac: How would you describe your music to others?

Ross: I would describe my music as chill and relaxing. Acoustic/Alternative.

Isaac: What type of feedback have you received from fans about your music?

Ross: For the most part, I have received positive feedback from my fans and encouragement to book as many shows as possible. I think my fans enjoy my stage presence almost as much as my music.

Isaac: Where can fans locate you at online?

Ross: My fans can locate me at www.rossriskin.com and www.myspace.com/rossriskin My new EP entitled, Simple Things EP can be purchased online at iTunes, Amazon, and Rhapsody.

Isaac: What can fans expect from you in the next five years?

Ross: Deeper songwriting, better recordings, and more shows.

Isaac: Time for some shout outs to your family, friends, and fans?

Ross: I would like to thank everyone who has supported me, especially my family, friends, girlfriend and the guys from Prep class of '09.

Isaac: Final words…

Ross: I would like to thank Isaac and Junior's Cave Magazine for allowing me the honor of being featured on the website. And don't forget to check out my music and give me some feedback. I'd love to hear it. Thanks.
- Junior's Cave


Ross Riskin, an 18-year-old singer-songwriter from Orange, Conn., has been writing and recording music for more than four years, is unveiling his sound to the world. His music consists of charming acoustic melodies and soothing vocals that are sure to put the listener into a state of total relaxation. Bands such as Third Eye Blind, Death Cab For Cutie and Dashboard Confessional are among Ross’ primary musical influences.
After months of recording, Ross has finally released his EP entitled, Simple Things. The album contains five simple but brilliant acoustic ballads that manage to strike deep within the listener. The only instruments used were a couple of guitars and a piano.
Simple Things begins with a clever and witty song entitled, The City. This track sinks its hooks into the audience and drags it in for more. Following The City is Break Me Down, which is one of the EP’s most popular tracks. Break Me Down consists of powerful lyrics and an upbeat melody that fits perfectly together. The next song is My Mind. This track might be the simplest song off the EP, but could very well be the most brilliant. Simple chord repetition and sweet ambient guitar notes in the background solidify Ross’ songwriting genius.
Coming around the corner is Ross’ Without A Sound. This song starts off slow, but picks up with memorable lyrics and an awesome guitar change-up reminiscent of Dave Matthews. And last but not least is the cool and collective track, Simple 37. Ross composed this song after a weeklong spiritual excursion with his high school classmates. He returned from the retreat with an enlightened mind and a great idea for a closing track. Simple 37’s mellow presence is the perfect conclusion to this relaxing acoustic compilation. All in all, this EP showcases Ross’ finest work. Expect to hear and see a lot more from this talented artist.
Ross wrote, recorded and produced Simple Things EP in his bedroom and on his computer with only a couple of microphones. Unlike many artists today, Ross took a new approach to recording. He recorded each song live to tape – meaning, the main guitar and vocals were both recorded simultaneously on a live take with no track overlays. If anything didn’t go according to plan, he improvised. This technique gave the EP a natural feeling that most music lacks.
Ross’ Simple Things EP can be purchased on Amazon and Rhapsody (coming soon to itunes and Napster) for a mere $4.45 and $4.99. Be sure to check it out, the only regret you’ll have is that you didn’t find it sooner. - PRLog


Discography

Simple Things EP

This album is available for purchase on Amazon and Rhapsody (Coming soon to Itunes and Napster). Some of the songs can be streamed from my Myspace music page.

http://www.myspace.com/rossriskin

Photos

Bio

I am an 18-year-old Singer-Songwriter from Orange, Conn. I started writing songs at the age of 13, but this is the first time I've released my music to the world. Some of my biggest influences come from bands such as Third Eye Blind, Weezer, Death Cab For Cutie, Coldplay, Radiohead, Dashboard Confessional, Matchbox 20, and Alexi Murdoch. These artists have all inspired my songwriting in some sense. What sets me apart from other artists is not only my musical ability, but my stage presence. I have a great talent for "getting a feel for the crowd" and seeing what songs are going to fit well with them.

I released an EP previous to Simple Things that received some airplay on 99.1 WPLR about 6 months ago. Ever since then I have been working on a new batch of songs that appear on my Simple Things EP. I am always writing and recording new material and will continue to do so in the future. One major problem I had in the beginning of my music career was that I was a perfectionist. It took me literally forever to record songs and I found myself wanting to record everything over again. I finally decided to take a new approach on writing/recording music. I decided to record this latest EP "live to tape." I sat down and recorded the guitar and vocals at the same time and said, "Now this is what it should have sounded like before." Recording "live to tape" gave the EP that real /natural feeling I had been searching for. I am currently promoting the release of Simple Things at all of my shows and hopefully in July I will begin the production of my next EP or album