Audrey Ryan

Thick Skin is the third album released by Audrey Ryan on Folkwit Records:

Third album from the highly creative imagination of multi-instrumentalist Audrey Ryan.

“Audrey Ryan is picking up career traction after a near-decade of troubadouring with the likes of Beth Orton and Susanne Vega. This record follows fast on the heels of last year’s ‘I Know, I Know’. ‘Lost & Lonely’ opens with an orchestra being dragged underwater, then surfaces for a piano-led lament with airy vocals and lonesome violins, before dragging the brass below again. ‘I Need The Blues’ is spacey, affecting short one with toe-tapping tingles over wispy country lyrics, merging into the title track which acts as a mission statement for the album: self-preservation against all odds. The beautiful ‘Way I Am’ continues this theme in the most moving track on the album and provides the best showcase for Ryan’s understated vocals and somewhat lo-fi instrumental soup. This style is consistent through the record, bringing to mind a more indie Abigail Washburn. Her voice has the lazily defiant quality of Barbara Manning but eager for a stadium audience, so willing to push for those high notes when required. Her storytelling muscles are flexed on the lengthy ‘Dangeling’ and ‘Four Blocks.’ A gently powerful album with glittering instrumental brilliance and melancholy in the lyrics. Plus there’s nothing sexier than a woman with a squeezebox.”
– Mark Nicholls, Shout 4 Music

“Having made her name playing all her instruments herself, Audrey Ryan throws caution to the (wood)wind and delivers a ten-song orchestral collection. Smart move for the strength and depth of her songwriting don’t just carry the added weight of all this music, it flourishes.

There’s a host of parallels to be drawn, from Elbow and Noah & the Whale, to Sufjan Stevens, Jonsi and even Bjork. Baroque folk chamber trad string pop, Thick Skin delivers complex yet accessible arrangements of some really quite beautiful songs like Nostalgia, Wherever You Are and the haunting Way I Am. Dangeling is playful, somehow drawing on The Association and the Beach Boys without sounding like either as her nimble voice flits between registers and tempos, while Lost & Lonely simply needs a home on mainstream radio.

Wandering off the beaten track has rarely been so rewarding.”
– Nick Churchill, FATEA

“Theatrical, quirky, feels orchestral while remaining stripped-down; the Decemberists with a female singer — a very good thing.”
– Mass. Live

“Make sure to check out Audrey Ryan. The sweet and quirky avant rocker – for fans of everyone from Flaming Lips to Nellie McKay…”
– Boston Globe

I Know, I Know – Audrey RyanDigital Release

Originally self-released in the US, we are pleased to be able to offer this great collection of songs from the highly talented Audrey Ryan – singer-songwriter, one man band and lo-fi DIY recording artist. Audrey’s songwriting and musical talent really shine through on these tracks. Also check out her previous release on Folkwit Dishes and Pills (see below). We are also pleased to announce that we will be releasing Audrey’s new album Thick Skin in March 2012 – an extraordinary album!

Dishes & Pills – Audrey Ryan – £8.99 + P&P


  1. Make Dead
  2. No Difference
  3. Dishes & Pills
  4. Cancer Heart
  5. Later Alligator
  6. People
  7. Babies
  8. Shiny Things
  9. Panda Song
  10. Simplify
  11. Took Me There
  12. Primadona
  13. Ukalalee Song
  14. Messing Around

Reviews:

“A lush, beautifully arranged slice of indie pop, “Dishes & Pills” is the work of an intelligent songwriter and composer with a clear vision of the music. There are elements of baroque ’60s pop such as The Zombies or the Beach Boys, but her clear musical contemporaries are ambitious, sensitive, smart songwriters such as Sufjan Stevens, John Vanderslice, and Feist.”
– Bangor Daily

“Theatrical, quirky, feels orchestral while remaining stripped-down; the Decemberists with a female singer — a very good thing.”
– Mass Live

“A genuine weirdo, Ryan’s songwriting and vocal style also might remind one of more modern female artists from Bjork to Shivaree to The Softies, and the menagerie of instrumentation is more out on the lunatic fringe à la the Dresden Dolls or Daniel Johnston. It’s a truly enjoyable musical schizophrenia that you could listen to 50 times and still hear something different each time.”
– Valley Advocate

“The result is a sprawling epic of indie-folk ingenuity. Structurally, her tunes are pure pop. But she infuses her arrangements with a jazz sensibility, expertly decking out the tunes with all the bells and whistles — quite literally, in most cases. Her work here more closely resembles the experimental folk orchestrations of Sufjan Stevens. Like Michigan’s eclectic tunesmith, Ryan excels at crafting quirkily diverse soundscapes that augment her intricate wordplay. Also like Stevens, her real strength lies in her subtly engaging songwriting; despite the wealth of aural delicacies found on Dishes & Pills, one gets the feeling that these songs would be just as effective if stripped down to guitar and Ryan’s charmingly expressive voice.”
– Seven Days (Dan Bolles)

“Ryan’s inventive songwriting, which adds surreal sounds and multifarious instrumentation to a solid folk-rock core, keeps all 14 tracks sounding mostly fresh and original. The wildly diverse instrumentation peppers each song with new trinkets of spacey and intriguing sound that dangles like fish bait around the listener’s ear. Her highly personal lyrics are also absorbing. Although most of the songs have a lighthearted feel, the words are often cynical and self-deprecating, addressing topics that range from cancer to dead-end relationships to pills, marijuana and booze. Some of the songs are heavier than others, both lyrically and musically, but the imaginative spirit never wanes”
-The Wire

About Audrey Ryan:

Since releasing her debut record Passing Thru, in 2004 Audrey Ryan has frequently toured in the US and Europe. She released her last two albums Dishes & Pills (2007) and I Know, I Know (2011) in the UK on Folkwit Records. Her latest title, Thick Skin is her strongest yet and reveals not just great song writing but extraordinary skill in multi instrumental arrangements.


Nominated Best Folk Act at the Boston Music Awards in 2009, Outstanding Singer-Songwriter of the Year in 2008, Best Female Vocalist in 2009 and Best Folk Act of 2010 in the Boston Phoenix Music Poll. She also won the Riving Rising Star 2009 Competition sponsored by WXRV 92.5FM the River.

As a touring live act, Audrey has shared the stage with Suzanne Vega, They Might be Giants, Grace Potter, Josh Ritter, Sam Amidon, Beth Orton, Glen Hansard, and Ra Ra Rio, among many others.

http://www.audreyryan.com/

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