‘I could write a song to you so sweet, it’d raise you to your feet and you’d come running.’
Cruising above a hazy, heady drift, these may be the first words you hear from Ryan Downey. Teased out by his mesmeric baritone, they open his debut LP Running like a time-lapse flower, revealing an artist uniquely capable of balancing cheek and sincerity, classicism and swagger and grandeur and restraint all within a single, composed breath.
Whether it’s sorrow with satisfaction or earnestness with innuendo, parallels continuously meet and entwine throughout Running’s fine-wine combination of pop, rock and folk. Like all polar opposites, the combination of these forces results in a magnetic tension.
Ryan carries this exquisite tension from the studio to the stage, bringing an arresting physicality to his live performances. He moves with an air of deliberation, like a statue teaming with energy. With this in contrast to the sheer size and heartbreaking beauty of his voice, he can transform the limitations of standing alone onstage into a spectacle. Dubbed “The Voice of Bigsound 2016” by The Music, he’s been quietly gathering an audience after performing at Falls Festival, By The Meadow, St Kilda Festival and MONA and opening for acts including Julia Jacklin, Luluc and Slow Dancer.
After two EPs, Running sees Ryan finally able to stretch his legs fully. Finding the perfect collaborator in producer Steve Hassett (of Luluc), the 10 songs were recorded across New York and Melbourne in early 2017. The recordings magnificently capture and illuminate an artist set to ignite, break and comfort hearts, potentially all at the same time.
Running will be released in April 2018 worldwide via Barely Dressed Records.