Ryan Power and the Prons
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Ryan Power and the Prons

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Casey Rea - Seven Days VT"

Burlington's soulful prince of indie-rock, Ryan Power, appeared on the scene as if out of nowhere -- a white knight with an impeccable ear for melody. A couple of years ago, he offered up a lovely, if short, 3-inch CD on Icebox Records. Lately he's been mixing and producing local bands, such as jazzy rockers Transit and, most recently, The Cush. Now he's got a full-length disc of his own. Featuring nine impeccably recorded, gently romantic numbers, Loventropy is one of the most rewarding albums I've heard this year.

There are hints of other artists in Power's songcraft, particularly that of the late Jeff Buckley. Power's compositions bear something in common with Buckley's limited post-Grace output, namely an unflinching intimacy and a penchant for unconventional chord progressions. Still, his work is unique, perhaps too much so for those accustomed to less adventurous singer-songwriters.

The languid bossa nova of opener "Interrogation" is a sultry curiosity, filled with inventive phrasing and wistful imagery. Power's lyrics provide an eloquent, free-associative glimpse into the artist's inner world: "In my former life I thought I said I wouldn't do this again / Oh, no -- I guess I didn't listen to myself, 'cause here I am making mistakes," he softly croons. Drummer Alissa Helland keeps a steady backbeat, eschewing flashy fills, while bassist Jason Pepe colors the empty spaces with thoughtful countermelodies.

"(Shell) Angelbreath" kicks off with a meditative piano, before blossoming into a futuristic lounge number replete with angelic vocal harmonies and sub-orbital synth pads. "Angel that smokes two packs a day then flies away," Power sings over the narcotic waltz. "Shieldtoshieldtoshield" boasts symmetrical acoustic guitar, augmented by exquisite violin and viola lines courtesy of Deep Soda's Alan Cieli. A mix of Eastern modality and Bacharach-esque melody, the track is a slow-motion stunner.

"Don't Come Cryin' to Me" is a quiet condemnation of an ex-friend or lover, with a jazzy vocal that floats lazily over the minimal arrangement. Beach Boys-esque harmonies appear in the bridge, as a slide guitar provides a mournful footnote.

The rest of the record is just as beautiful. Power is incredibly versatile, capable of blending genres like a master painter might mix his oils. From hushed lullabies to avant-garde arias, Loventropy bursts with an uncommon creativity.

CASEY REA
- Seven Days VT


Discography

"Ryan Power" self-titled debut (2002)
"loventropy" (2005)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Began as the solo songwriting project of Ryan Power while he was living in Oakland, CA in 2000. He soon moved to Burlington, VT and released his self-titled debut in 2002 to positive reviews and began to perform solo around New England for the next year. “With solid songwritng and inventive instrumentation, he’s crafted a textured, multi-faceted album of pop that is beautiful, intelligent, diary-personal and fascinatingly unique.” (Ethan Covey, Seven Days VT). In May of 2003 Ryan began to expand his live performances with Jason Pepe on bass and Alissa Helland on drums. The band performed locally and recorded in Ryan’s bedroom for the next year. Local bass rocker Tyler Bolles filled out some of the recordings while Jason switched to guitar and keyboard. The current line up of The Prons began performing in 2005 after the release of the second full length CD, “Loventropy.” “Featuring nine impeccably recorded, gently romantic numbers, Loventropy is one of the most rewarding albums I’ve heard this year.” (Casey Rea – Seven Days VT) A successful CD release show and small East Coast tours through the winter and early 2006 fueled the momentum of the band toward booking their longest tour yet for July 2006. Ryan Power and the Prons are post apocalyptic mad maxian revolutionaries armed with gentle melodies, intertwining vocals, and lit out rock bursts of power.