Ryan and Pony
On their album cover, Ryan and Pony are depicted as anime characters and the cute playfulness that suggests comes through in their songs. There is something familiar and comforting in the sounds Ryan and Pony make. It’s like a sugar rush on a crisp autumn afternoon. The tunes wrap around you like a comfy, well-loved sweater. It’s nice. It feels good.
Ryan Smith and Pony (aka Kathie Hixon-Smith) have been kicking around the Minneapolis scene for years. They met playing in Mark Mallman’s backing band and then joined forces in the Melismatics. Since 2016, Ryan has been handling lead guitar duties in Soul Asylum.
I like putting Moshi Moshi on and just letting the sounds wash over me. I notice the clever words and catchy melodies. I like the lilting back and forth of the voices on “Fast As I Can.” I like the pulsing rhythms on “Thunderlove.” Pony takes a lovely turn on lead voice on “Cinematic,” and how can you not love their Prince homage, “I Would Die 4 u.”