Thursday, 22 March 2018

EP: Sara Ryan - Glitter Skies

Sara Ryan - Glitter Skies

Info: Sara Ryan has had an exciting start to her career. Last year she  released her debut single 'Belle', which won "Best New Comer" and "Best New Single" on Dublin City FM.  And to top the year off, she was crowned New Folk Artist of the Year at the Irish Folk Music Awards, alongside Damien Dempsey, Johnny McEvoy, The Druids and Aoife Scott. The Kildare-born songwriter, now based in Cork City, built a strong and loyal following touring with Mick Flannery, Martin Harley, John Spillane, Wally Page, Luka Bloom and Cry Monster Cry.

2018 saw the release of her second single 'Euphoric Recall' on February 23rd  as Sara embarks on a double headlining tour with Emma Langford.

Glitter Skies, the debut EP from Cork-based artist Sara Ryan gets off to the perfect start with the ear-grabbing 'Euphoric Recall' which we reviewed last month noting it was; "...the perfect come-down from a chaotic day, wilting blues guitar simmers around a dark soulful vocal. It's so refreshing to hear an Irish act delve into these sounds, and based on this one track I would love to see Ryan live with full band. Sneaker Pimps' Kelli Ali comes to mind, from their 1996 masterpiece Becoming X."

The title-track comes next, I had to go through a stack of Beatles albums (eventually to no avail) to figure out what the intro reminded me of, I think it may actually be a Lennon solo song, anyway, enough warbling. Ryan's style here is quite different to anything we may be accustomed to in Irish music circles over the good last while. Although her songs are hewn from the folk stone, there's a decidedly rn'b style to be heard here in her singing and the music. It also throws up the image of a defiant yet worn-down pop singer resigned to playing dark clubs, this is in no way a reflective of the mood of the track, merely the scene that is cast.

'Dream On' builds on the 90's soul-pop of 'Euphoric Recall', the guitars are feisty and move from lurking to full pelt, again rn'b permeates the song, and the crescendo lends itself to a most Bondian OST moment of unbridled emotional release. Closing track 'Lost' has a magical and alluring twinkle in its eye, and now that it's clicked with my ear for possibly the third, brief time, it's worth mentioning there's a bit of TLC hovering ever so subtly in Ryan's vocal. As the song reaches its final third her vocal soars, and feels like it's in its most natural state. Glitter Skies completely caught me off guard, expectations were immediately brushed aside, and the traversing between different vocal styles, jazz, soul, pop and rn'b is a credit to both Ryan's diversity and her dexterous intonation. 

Sara Ryan plays in Sin É with Emma Langford tomorrow night, event info is here

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