Dear Future Collective
After a prolific career spanning eight albums, anyone familiar with Matthew Ryan’s music won’t need any further evidence to prove he is one of the most talented and underrated singer-songwriters in America, but his latest recording, Dear Lover emphatically provides it. Self-produced and mostly self-performed, the album is a triumph for Ryan on every level, from its stripped-back, raw vibe, to its excellent songwriting and powerful, resonant lyrics.
Opener “City Life” reveals that the intensity evident on Ryan’s previous album, Matthew Ryan Vs The Silver State still remains, and the song is a real standout with its atmospheric guitars.
The desolate, sparse acoustic vibe of “Some Streets Lead Nowhere” is a real contrast and change of pace, but is one of the most achingly beautiful songs Ryan has ever recorded. “The World Is..” gives it real competition in those stakes, with a haunting piano melody and simple acoustic guitar pattern, and is typical of the kind of brilliantly evocative songs Ryan effortlessly produces time after time.
“The Wilderness” ups the tempo with a pleading vocal and unrelenting, spiky guitar riff, while the brilliant title track is as close to an anthem as Ryan is likely to get, with its memorable chorus and lyrics. But the standout track on an album of real depth, beauty, and quality is the epic “The End of a Ghost Story,” which slowly builds from a simple opening to a wonderfully orchestrated stunning climax.
Matthew Ryan fans won’t need any convincing of the merits of Dear Lover, and this almost flawless album certainly deserves to catapult him to much wider acclaim.
Matthew Ryan: www.matthewryanonline.com