Melbourne singer-songwriter Ryan Downey’s latest EP, Songs For Dreamers (Nov 3rd, 2023), is a sweeping affair that traverses the magic and melancholy of life and love, steered by the artist’s achingly breathtaking voice.
From the dark, swooning romance of 'Tonight', to the ASMR-esque tones of adult-lullaby 'Big Zero', Songs For Dreamers is Downey’s most evocative project yet, featuring the emotive tour de force of a 25 piece string orchestra.
Downey’s ability to distill the beauty in life through his lyrics and rich baritone vocals has put this renowned artist on the map. This Summer, he’ll be taking Songs For Dreamers on the road, performing in Castlemaine, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Beechworth.
‘As a kid I longed to be at peace with my romantic disposition. When the world tells you you’ll be lost, adrift in the clouds if you allow your mind to float out the window - it tends to weigh you down,’ Ryan explains.
‘It was only ever in music that I heard an unapologetic stance towards being a dreamer. Artists like Cohen, Dylan, Simone and Cave showed me that romantics aren’t hiding from the truth, they’re prepping their taste buds to accept it with loving arms.’
Downey’s 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. This new EP sees Downey exploring a more intimate space - a vulnerable, dream-like trance of lovesick and existential treasures.
‘For around a year before I wrote this EP I went through a dark night of the soul. Harsh self-analysis rendered me numb and I lost grip on that peace I'd grown. I stopped playing and I stopped listening to music. But music came to find me and it wouldn't leave me alone.
‘I did my best to shrug it off but songs kept knocking on my door and eventually I had to start letting them through. I looked at the songs that were coming out and, as if I'd had no conscious part in the writing of them, I saw that unapologetic stance again, that secret world of the heart.
‘These songs are about the battles and the ecstasies of being a dreamer. For the romantics; those who find reason in passion,’ Ryan explains.