RELEASES

 

RYAL  |  Silver & Gold

Releases Summer of 2017

Combining the soulfulness of Solange with the dream pop of The xx, RYAL the project is an artistic vision of music with a unique style, an emotional vision, and a glittering inclusive world view. Ryal the artist is a passionate siren whose odyssey has taken her from the wilderness where desert meets disco to the city life of New York, where she currently makes her musical and creative home. 

Whether looking up to role models like Bjork for style, Kendrick Lamar for lyrics, and Thom Yorke for DGAF attitude, or bouncing from foundational influences to current obsessions as guideposts along the creative way, Ryal has always had a deep love for electronic music, and is on a constant hunt to expand her melodic ideas.

Which is all part of RYAL the project, which spun out of Ryal’s restless creative curiosity. After a period where all she seemed to be singing about was lost love and heartache, she recognized that the next move for her to make was a dance step. It was time to pack up all that gloom and loss into a brighter lyrical suitcase, like the musical equivalent of wearing pink lipstick, using hairspray, applying just the right amount of glitter, and dancing like there’s no tomorrow. 

Producer Aaron Nevezie was on the same wavelength, and saw the innovative possibilities in helping Ryal fulfill her desire to push and challenge herself into a new direction as a songwriter. He has been a part of the project since its inception, when Ryal holed up in a Music Building studio and started writing pop song after pop song. Cheerleader and sounding board, guide and fellow passenger, Nevezie is RYAL’s co-project manager, lending his considerable musical talents in the studio and on stage to help create a musical experience whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Those parts? Classic and cutting edge. Inspired by the vintage electronic textures of pulsing modular synth bass lines locked to analog drum machines and keyboards, the music blends live guitar and drum kit for an experience that combines the minimalism of Eno with the energy of the club, where the venue becomes a live wire that dances with the electricity of the songs. Songs that are the best kind of disco-pop, which can go light and dark, frivolous and deep, and sweet and wounded—and always during the same song.

In a city with so many disparate music scenes, RYAL is dedicated to community over exclusion. If the scene is a room, then the community is the house, and it’s RYAL’s goal to get everybody in that house dancing together, no matter what room they’re in.

All of which illustrate Ryal’s belief that music is the most inclusive art form. Listen to it, dance to it, give in to its spell—music is a block party where everyone’s invited, and an all-are-welcome haven for the heaven that is dance.

ryal

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Hibernia | Máiréad Nesbitt

VIOLINIST MÁIRÉAD NESBITT IS LOVED BY FANS AROUND THE WORLD FOR HER HIGH-PROFILE WORK WITH THE POPULAR IRISH ENSEMBLE, CELTIC WOMAN. AN ORIGINAL AND FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE WORLD FAMOUS GROUP, THE CHARASMATIC FIDDLER AND COMPOSER’S VERSATILE INSTRUMENTAL TALENTS AND BEGUILING STAGE PRESENCE HAVE BEEN EMBRACED BY A DIVERSE AUDIENCE THAT CROSSES GEOGRAPHICAL AND CULTRURAL BOUNDARIES. AS FEATURED  SOLO VIOLINIST ON ELEVEN CELTIC WOMAN ALBUMS, SHE HELPED EACH TITLE TO ACHIEVE THE COVETED #1 SPOT ON THE BILLBOARD WORLD MUSIC CHARTS, AN EMMY NOMINATION FOR A PBS TELEVISION SPECIAL AND HER LATEST RECORDING WITH THE GROUP ‘DESTINY’, RECEIVED THEIR FIRST GRAMMY NOMINIATION FOR BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM.


HIBERNIA, ON COSMIC TRIGGER RECORDS WAS RECORDED AT WINDMILL LANE STUDIOS IN DUBLIN AND FEATURES ORGINAL SONGS COMPOSED BY MÁIRÉAD. THE SONGS ARE DIVIDED INTO SUITES AND WERE RECORDED WITH THE ORCHESTRA OF IRELAND. IN ADDITION TO MÁIRÉAD’S SUCCESSES WITH CELTIC WOMAN SHE HAS BUILT AN IMPRESSIVELY VARIED MUSICAL RESUME OF HER OWN  AND HAS EMERGED AS ONE OF IRELAND'S MOST IN-DEMAND MUSICIANS, AS WELL AS A PROMINENT PRESENCE IN THE CELTIC MUSIC WORLD. 


MÁIRÉAD'S DISTINCTIVE BLEND OF TRADITIONAL IRISH AND CLASSICAL STYLES EARNED HER IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE'S TITLE OF ‘BEST TRADITIONAL FEMALE MUSICIAN’ AND HAS GIVEN HER THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH SUCH INTERNATIONAL ACTS AS VAN MORRISON, SINÉAD O'CONNOR, CLANNAD, EMMYLOU HARRIS, DAVID BOWIE, STING AND JIMMY WEBB AS WELL AS IRISH MUSIC ICONS LIKE SHARON SHANNON, PAUL BRADY, FRANCES BLACK, AND DÓNAL LUNNY'S COOLFIN.

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hibernia

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New Year's Eve | Brian Cullman

Brian Cullman’s got the Christmas blues but not of the type you might assume. As recounted in the press release accompanying his seasonal single “New Year’s Eve” (its full title, parenthetically giving away the game a bit: “I’m just a New Year’s Adam looking for a…”), the long-time music journalist and even longer-time musician, early in the course of his adventurous, peripatetic life – greater details of which backdropped SEM’s review of his February 2016 album The Opposite of Time – fetched up on an idyllic if primitive island in the Mediterranean where stray dogs and native wildlife came out to haunt the unelectrified night and where Cullman would spend his first Noël outside the warm bosom of his natal family. During that peculiar time, feeling, as he says, “both liberated and homesick,” he’d venture out nearly every night in hopes of capturing the sea-foamed music of the spheres, the melodies of timelessness made by the universe itself in all its gracious infinitude. Instead, to his utmost post-adolescent chagrin, whatever degree of mystic reception he might have enjoyed was blocked from every direction by the needling persistence of his childhood’s holiday soundtrack, “Silver Bells” and “Little Drummer Boy” and all their saccharine, begrudgingly internalized ilk. There was no escaping those seductive ditties, they filled his ears like clouds of humming, nostalgia-fed gnats and ever since then the subliminal tsunami of Christmas music that infiltrates our every waking moment come the Yuletide has been viewed by Brian Cullman as an insidious scourge. Whatever your take on the canon of old chestnuts – something of a soft spot for them myself but I am, indeed, a hopeless softie – it’s not difficult to see his point, and to, furthermore, fully understand his need to push back against this Burl Ive’d tide by penning his own festive singalong, one that’s just as catchy but a touch more libidinous.

Riding a slouchy, shuffle-blues beat and some fat, Supertramp-friendly electric piano (courtesy Glenn Patische, who’ll also provide the Professor Longhaired straight ivory piano meddlin’ instrumental break down the road a piece), “New Year’s Eve” is that warmly intoxicating blend of the lascivious and the collegially charming, maintaining its tipsy balance by skimming the surface of raunchy innuendo while upholding its winking gentleman’s demeanor (there is, after all, a tradition of etiquette to be observed here). The key may be the buried subliminal honk of that saxophone – Joihn Ellis – or it might just be Jimi Zhivago’s unobtrusive guitar chops and equally surreptitious production supporting a Cullman delivery pitched neatly between droll and duplicitous (there’s always a tone of desperation to a wooing man’s logic, isn’t there?), but the end result is a cheery entry to the catalog of adult holiday songs that has us imagining that this may have been how the night begins for that guy singing “Baby it’s cold outside,” which is exactly the (bell) ringing endorsement it seems.

But wait, there’s more! This tidy little stocking-stuffer EP also comes with a stomping, CBGB’s-recorded live track of Cullman’s 80’s band OK Savant featuring Vernon Reid’s prowling coil of guitar, a lovely lamenting blues ballad called “Minor Love” that’s actually “Bye Bye Love” taken over the nihilistic romantic cliff it was always headed for (with the Patti Smith Band’s Jay Daugherty on drums and a blistering outro solo by Sid McGinnis), and “I Know,” a lovelorn, pop-worn nugget which, aside from being the quintessential B-side, is also essentially a Leslie Winston-as-song-architect showcase as she provides the keys, added guitar, and all the programming.

So, in all, a brief but quite sure-footed diversion, a perfect just-the-thing antidote to this hectic – and, this year, particularly fraught – holiday season. 

VIDEOS

Walk The Dog Before I Sleep   |   Times Are Tight   |   New Year's Eve   |   Everything That Rises

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New Year's eve

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Together For Christmas | A Contemporary Celtic Christmas Collection

THE Christmas SEASON brings along nostalgia, a remembrance for times when we were young with our families gathered round the Christmas tree. Christmas also welcomes in a new era, a birth, a new year and the hope it brings. In that spirit we bring you the gift of new Christmas music by contemporary Irish and Celtic music recording artists. Anita Daly has put together a magnificent, eclectic selection of yuletide cheer featuring original Christmas songs and standards titled: “Together For Christmas: A Contemporary Celtic Christmas Collection”. From the rousing opening ‘Christmas Day’by Kansas City's own, The Elders, to the traditional sounds of Cherish the Ladies and The Celtic Tenors; to the booming vocals of Damien Dempsey to folk heroes, The High Kings, you will be singing along by the second time you play it and you will think of Christmas music in a new light. And as a bonus you get to read liner notes written by Larry Kirwan OF Black 47 AND HOST OF CELTIC CRUSH ON SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO who says “Turn up the volume! Kick out those December jams, a very merry Celtic Christmas and joy to the world.”

THE IRISH VOICE ~ “IF YOU’RE THINKING THIS IS GOING TO BE A PREDICTABLE ALBUM OF DOZILY PRESNTED CHRISTMAS STANDARDS, THINK AGAIN.”

CELETIC MUSIC RADIO NETWORK ~ “THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST COMPILATIONS OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC FEATURING ALL OF THE NEWEST GROUPS IN CELTIC MUSIC, PERFECT FOR THE CELTIC MUSIC FAN.”

VIDEOS

Happy Christmas by John Munnelly

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Together for christmas

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