Ryan Dahle

Ryan Dahle

BandAlternative

Instantly satisfying and deeply inventive all at once, Ryan Dahle’s Album ’Irrational Anthems’ contains a blend of spontaneous creativity and meticulous artistry that can only come from experience.

Biography

When he pressed record on “Eek It’s Halloween,” the sweetly nostalgic tune that sits at the centre of Irrational Anthems, Ryan Dahle had only the vaguest idea of where the song would go. He had a jumble of lyrics, the skeleton of a melody, an acoustic guitar and, most importantly, Greenhouse Studios, the Vancouver recording studio that he calls home. When you listen to the album, you still hear that first take — from the laugh when Dahle sings “I’ve been a trash bag, I’ve been a tree” to the artfully hidden crack in his falsetto.
To Dahle, capturing that kind of creative spark is one of the main benefits of life in a studio. The other benefit, naturally, is that it allows Dahle the time to perfect his creations. Spontaneous gems like “Eek It’s Halloween” share space on Irrational Anthems with the meticulously minimal rocker “Shutdown” and the tastefully orchestrated “Lion Piano,” while lead-off track “Chop Chop” has been honed to radio-rock perfection over the course of seven versions. Each track is both fully developed and fully distinct.
Dahle’s ear for pop-friendly idiosyncrasy is everywhere on Irrational Anthems. So is his unmistakable voice, a pinched blend of sweetness and grit that somehow makes lines like “Roll up your ‘On Guard’ or I’m inclined to use the trap door” make their own inevitable kind of sense. From the songwriting and performances to the production and mixing, every second of the album is the product of Dahle’s creativity.
That kind of hands-on commitment is only natural. Dahle has always been adept at crafting obliquely hook-laden melodies and fractured lyrics, first as songwriter for The Age of Electric and then as frontman for Limblifter, collecting 7 top 11 radio hits, 4 Juno nominations and a Casby award between the two bands. Since then, he’s practically (and now literally) lived in the studio, collecting gear, experimenting with production techniques, searching for new sounds and working with well-known Canadian musicians like The Manvils and Hot Hot Heat.
Despite the fact that Irrational Anthems is the first album Dahle has released under his own name, it’s not strictly a solo affair. Megan Bradfield (The Salteens, A.C. Newman) contributes bass, double-bass, cello, clarinet and vocals, and Dahle’s brother Kurt is back, bringing both his experience in indie-pop sensations The New Pornographers and the type of intuition that only brothers can share. One of the biggest inspirations isn’t even musical — a collaboration with renowned Canadian visual artist Steven Shearer led to both a strong friendship and a huge influence on the album art and the music itself.
Instantly satisfying and deeply inventive all at once, Irrational Anthems contains a blend of spontaneous creativity and meticulous artistry that can only come from experience. It’s not a redefinition or a statement of purpose — it’s the album Dahle’s career has been leading to.

Lyrics

Hya

Written By: Ryan Dahle

SEE A DARKNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BOTTLE
SEE A GHOST BURNOUT OUR RENTAL CASTLE
BORN IN A LUCKY BUBBLE, BEST BE GREATFUL
AS THE SWORDS SING IRRATIONAL ANTHEMS

CARVE ME A NEW EGO
CARVE ME AND YOU
CARVE ME AND YOU
CARVE ME A NEW EGO

YA OO HYA HYA

IN A BLACKOUT YOUR X-RAY GLOWS
YOUR SKELETON IS EATING BUT YOU DON'T GROW
WE NEED TO BE GREATFUL YA, I KNOW I KNOW
BUT MY INSTINCT IS GOING EXTINCT ON A BUFFALO
NOW THE SWORDS THEY SING IRRATIONAL ANTHEMS

CARVE ME A NEW EGO
CARVE ME AND YOU
CARVE ME AND YOU
CARVE ME A NEW EGO

CARVE ME A NEW EGO
CARVE ME AND YOU
CARVE ME AND YOU
CARVE ME A NEW EGO

HYA HYA

CARVE ME A NEW EGO
CARVE ME AND YOU
AS THE SWORDS SING IRRATIONAL ANTHEMS

HYA HYA HYA HYA

BETA KING STILTS

Written By: RYAN DAHLE

...OH I LIKE A SECRET
COMMITMENT LEVEL LOW
A SOLITARY BURNOUT
A TIRED TIRE KICKER
ABOARD A SCENE WORTHY VESSEL
ABOARD THE SPIRIT OF DEVIANT HER SPLINTERING BOW
KICKED AT KING STILTS ASLEEP ON THE THRONE LIKE BIG E
WHO I WON'T NAME IN A SONG

PICK YOUR BATTLES MAN KIDS ARE AT WAR SCHOOL
THERE AIN'T NO LAW UPHELD AS HEAVY AS SCRUPLES
PICK YOUR BATTLES MAN STOP SWALLOWING INSTRUCTION
AIMING RIGHT OVER PROTESTERS BUSY VENTING ON VIDEO GAMES

WHERE A BABBLING BROOK FEEDS A SCREAMING SEA
A MOANING HULL KEEP IT LIGHT AND EMPTY
A FOLLOWING CORMORANT
BARE BREASTED CALM THE ANGRY SEA
CRUCIFIED ON A FRIDAY
WHISTLING IN THE LOOKOUT ON SUNDAY

WE'VE HAD ENOUGH HYPE
WE MIGHT SPREAD IT AROUND NOW
WE'VE HAD ENOUGH HYPE
WE MIGHT SPREAD IT AROUND NOW
PUSHIN' OUR GENERATION ALL IN
WE'VE HAD ENOUGH HYPE
WE MIGHT SPREAD IT AROUND NOW
PUSHIN' NEXT GENERATION ALL IN
WE'VE HAD ENOUGH HYPE
WE MIGHT SPREAD IT AROUND NOW
FUTURE GENERATIONS ALL IN
WE'VE HAD ENOUGH HYPE

PICK YOUR BATTLES MAN KIDS ARE AT WAR SCHOOL
THERE AIN'T NO LAW UPHELD AS HEAVY AS SCRUPLES
PICK YOUR BATTLES MAN STOP SWALLOWING INSTRUCTION
AIMING RIGHT OVER PROTESTERS BUSY VENTING ON VIDEO GAMES
PICK YOUR BATTLES MAN

CHOP CHOP

Written By: RYAN DAHLE


TOOK V.E.T. MY BARKING DOG
NEUTERED DISTORTION THIS CITY ON A FAULT
SET TO 45 PER 60 SPINS WAY TOO HIGH STRUNG
RIGHT OR WRONG CHOP CHOP
RIGHT OR WRONG CHOP CHOP

I KNOW YOU GET IT I KNOW YOU GET IT
I KNOW YOU GET IT I KNOW YOU GET IT
I KNOW YOU GET IT

CHOP CHOP RIGHT OR WRONG
CHOP CHOP RIGHT OR WRONG

RIGHT OR WRONG CHOP CHOP
RIGHT OR WRONG CHOP CHOP
RIGHT OR WRONG CHOP CHOP

YOU'RE WELCOME TO EDIT THIS OUT
OPINION LEADERS MAKE NO SOUND
YOU'RE WELCOME TO DUMB IT DOWN
YOU'RE WELCOME TO EDIT THIS OUT

I KNOW YOU GET IT I KNOW YOU GET IT
I KNOW YOU GET IT I KNOW YOU GET IT
I KNOW YOU GET
I THINK YOU'VE GOT AH AH
I THINK YOU'VE GOT AH AH
I THINK YOU'VE GOT

TOOK V.E.T. MY BARKING DOG
UNTIL HE BIT INTO THE TOWN
SET TO 45 PER 60 SPINS WAY TOO HIGH STRUNG
AH OH
HIGH STRUNG RIGHT OR WRONG
HIGH STRUNG RIGHT OR WRONG
HIGH STRUNG
CHIPPY CHIPPY CHIPPY CHIPPY

RIGHT OR WRONG CHOP CHOP
RIGHT OR WRONG CHOP CHOP
RIGHT OR WRONG CHOP CHOP
RIGHT OR WRONG

SIXES & SEVENS

Written By: RYAN DAHLE + MEGAN BRADFIELD

SO SO SIXES AND SEVENS
THIRTEEN BELLS RING WHILE RAPIDS FREEZE STILL
SO SO ICICLES CHILL
IN THE SNOW WE'LL BUILD NEW ADDRESS
SO SO SPRINGING UP IN BED
'CAUSE THE OCEAN MOUTH
IS THREE BLOCKS FROM OUR HEAD
GROWLING GROWLING

DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE

SO SO SO SO SO SO SO
A VOLCANO
MELTED MODERN ROCK
ON EVERYTHING YOU OWN
AND EVERYONE YOU LOVE
LEVIATHAN RATTLIN'
THE PLATES AND THE TOURIST FEAR
WITH MAXIMIST THOUGHTS
FILLING OUR FACES

DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE

SAY SO SO SO SO SO SO SO LONG
TO YOUR SUNSHINE PROBLEM

COUGH COUGH COFFIN COFFINIZING
OFF OFF AWFUL AWFULIZING
BABABABY YOU HAVE JUST A SUNSHINE PROBLEM
PROBLEM PROBLEM
JUST A SUNSHINE PROBLEM

DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE

Discography

Ryan Dahle - Irrational Anthems
August 25 2009

Set List

Windmilling
Target Practice
Hya
Chop Chop
Shutdown
6's & 7's
Agoraphobe
Question Mark
Awfullizing
Beta King Stilts
Eek, it's Hallowe'en
Lion Piano