It’s entirely refreshing to see minimalism internalized by someone who has arrived at it by way of maximalism. After all the bands and projects that Ryan has helped proliferate, Hi My Name is Ryan to me is the rough equivalent of someone who has made a steadfast decision to just make really good sandwiches after a career in eccentric high-end dinner cuisine.
Which in no way should downplay the importance of a killer sandwich. In fact, just the opposite; one must rigorously consider all the ingredients when there are fewer of them in the mix. And here Ryan does. Whatever flavor you bite into, be it bleak depression, absurdist humor, shameful embarrassment, or bittersweet nostalgia, it comes through brutally potent and strong.
Given a choice, the audience will root for the character with the
strongest beliefs, even if those beliefs are flawed. That I think, is
the magic lining in Ryan’s songwriting. It’s the voice of someone
who feels what they feel, and you know will not stop feeling it.
Someone who fully believes what they believe, even when all they
can believe is how much doubt they’re in.
For life to be romanticized, it needs a witness. Look at the contrast between the person crying alone, and the viewer watching through the lens. To the former, there is only pain. And yet the viewer finds such transformative beauty in witnessing that pain, that the things they see fall can hardly be called tears. They have taken on a new quality and purpose just by being seen. They mean something else now that someone has been there to witness them. What a gift then, to see through this lens! What a contrast to know! How have these songs transformed when heard through your ears? What new meaning have they accrued now that you’ve gone and found them?
-Makka West (May, 2020)
released July 24, 2020
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 recorded at The Trunk Space between June 2018 and May 2019.
Tracks 3, 4 and 5 recorded at The Bootleg Theater in December, 2019.
Tracks 9 and 10 recorded in the Trunk Space Basement in February 2018
All songs written & performed by Ryan. Except “In The Zone" written by James Kochalka and "Faith Flourescent" by Ryan Wanttaja
Mixed and Mastered by John Fuzzywalls
Layout & Design by Ryan Avery
Photos by Sara Avery