Ryan Downey is a singer-songwriter from Melbourne/Naarm known for his melancholic, poetic and often romantic songs. At the centre of his music is his achingly breathtaking voice - a rich baritone with an ability to distil the beauty in life. A voice that's drawn comparisons to artists like Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and Chris Isaak.
His first two records Running (2018/Barely Dressed) and A Ton Of Colours (2021/Dot Dash) gained critical acclaim both in Australia and abroad and saw him invited on tours with artists including Marlon Williams (UK/EUR Tour), Sarah Blasko (AUS Tour), Emma Louise (AUS Tour), Tiny Ruins (AUS Tour) and more.
Ryan returns in 2023 with his most moving and defining project yet, an EP titled Songs For Dreamers. An ode to dreamers everywhere, the almost entirely acoustic record is an enchantingly intimate affair, supported by the sweeping romance of a 25 piece string orchestra.
“A master of swaggering, vulnerable lyrics and catchy melodies.”
“If there’s a word to define Ryan Downey’s second album, it’s “range”. From the tender heartland balladry of ‘Contact’ to the dramatic art-rock of ‘Same Dream, Every Night’, ‘A Ton Of Colours’ is exactly what it says on the tin. Songs are primarily threaded together by the Melbourne crooner’s highly emotive baritone – which gloriously takes centre-stage throughout on these odes to the beauty and ache of human connection.”
“The Australian singer’s latest single conjures the Cars fronted by Bryan Ferry”
- The Sunday Times (UK) ‘Hottest Tracks’
“Ryan Downey has a hell of a voice…One of the best characteristics of Downey's music is that he doesn't tie himself down. [‘Heart Is An Onion’] is a big indie rock jam, and every twist and turn Downey's band makes is an opportunity for a change in approach for the singer's powerful voice.”
- Double J
“His Bryan Ferry-level suave, deep baritone and charming lyricism totally win us over…swoon-worthy, lush harmonies and haunting whistling...Every note wrenched from his guitar quivers with emotion…Downey is a true artiste, and one of a kind.”
- STACK Magazine
"With the same emotional flamboyance as peak Bryan Ferry, Ryan Downey’s vocal performance on “Contact” demands your full attention. The songs atmospheric grandeur is an ideal accompaniment, enveloping the Australian singer in a giant hug"
- Songwriting Magazine (UK)
“On stage, Downey’s purposeful elegance brings to mind the mime training David Bowie undertook in his Ziggy Stardust phase; as the house lights came up, Bowie’s ‘Cat People (Putting Out The Fire)’ played on the speakers. Big nods to ’70s British rock are audible on ‘A Ton Of Colours’ – recorded by Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, Julia Jacklin) – like the fantasias of Kate Bush, or the swagger of Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry.”
- NME Feature
“Ryan Downey stands for the really big pop numbers, above which a colorful bubble hovers that breathes even more air into the songs and a painful veil creeps next to them, which strengthens the songs with vulnerability.”
- The Pick (DE) Album of the Week
"Downey's seductive baritone can melt steel beams, so it will turn your knees to butter, guaranteed - ★★★★1/2"
- The Music
"In case it wasn't public knowledge yet let me make it clear; this dude's got one of the best voices in the country."
- Triple J Unearthed
“A voice that will not be compared to any other ”
- Rocknfool (FR)
- The Daily Indie (NL)
"Ryan Downey alludes classification...One of the finest singer-songwriters we've heard in a while."
- Happy Mag
"There aren't very many artists who defy expectation, but Ryan Downey is one of those people"
- Henry Wagons, Double J
"One of Australia's most exciting new singers"