Wandercease, the new album from Hudson Valley, NY-based singer-songwriter Ryan Martin is out now on High Moon Records. Produced by Kenny Siegal (Langhorne Slim, Joseph Arthur, Chuck Prophet) at Old Soul Studios in Catskill, NY and mixed by Paul Kolderie (Pixies, Radiohead, Dinosaur Jr.), it’s Martin’s most musically adventurous and emotionally dynamic record to date, blending masterful melodic instincts with giant musical hooks and a bold, vibrant sonic palette. Ranging from deep introspection to radiant joy and filled with confidence and curiosity, the songs conjure up a magical space for the listener to roam around in.
"The places Wandercease ends up occasionally even bring to mind Pet Sounds. There can be no greater praise." --Chronogram
The album took shape after Martin’s relocation north from New York City to the Hudson Valley. Producer Kenny Siegal proved the ideal collaborator; he dug deep into the songs, found their essential seeds and drew from the goldmine of local musicians -- many fresh from working with artists such as David Byrne, Cibo Matto and Lana Del Rey -- to help bring his and Martin’s vision to glorious life. Adding to the alchemy, the tracks were mixed with the deft and painterly touch of Paul Kolderie (Pixies, Radiohead, Dinosaur Jr.).
A key musical presence on Wandercease is singer-songwriter and classically-trained harpist Mikaela Davis. Davis was initially enlisted by producer Siegal to play harp on a couple of songs. When she spontaneously began singing harmony vocals during a rehearsal of "Coma Kiss," Martin and Siegal were floored. Davis ended up singing and playing harp on much of the album. Her shimmering harp playing and stunning vocal contributions are perfectly situated on Wandercease, elevating its intriguing blend of homespun Americana, processed rhythms and warm electronic touches.
"Martin seems to be following the roots of forebears like The Band who blend undeniable songwriting with an experimental edge and a desire to innovate.” --Passion of the Weiss
Originally from Los Gatos, California, Ryan Martin started writing songs when he was 14, and within a few years, was playing shows throughout The Bay Area as a solo artist. At age 20, in pursuit of love and the opportunity to play his music in new environs, Martin moved with his girlfriend to Chico, CA, where they played as a duo, and he made his first forays into home-recording. Two years later, he set out for New York City, assembled a band, played countless shows, and slowly gained a devout audience. His self-released debut album For All The Beautiful Losers came out in 2012. After extensive touring and becoming a first-time father, Martin recorded Gimme Some Light. Released in 2018 on High Moon Records, the album garnered considerable critical acclaim, most notably in the Netherlands, where it placed highly on a number of major music journalists’ “Best Americana Album Of the Year” lists.
“[Gimme Some Light] sounds like an obscure small-label issue from Laurel Canyon, circa 1974, the kind of thing that Matthew Sweet or Evan Dando would score in the backroom of a Cambridge record shop and stake as some sort of primal influence.” -- Chronogram
The gorgeous “paint-on-glass” video for Gimme Some Light’s final track “Real Human Being” has been a featured selection at animation festivals around the world including Italy, Taiwan, Switzerland, South Korea, Romania and many more. The fascinating and inspiring story of Martin's collaboration with two animators -- all three working from different countries -- can be found here:
“Perfection is damn near impossible to come by and it almost never happens. Yet somehow, someway, Ryan Martin hit that rare pocket in time and captured perfection.” --American Songwriter
Look out for the gorgeous “Real Human Being” video coming soon to an animation festival near you and don’t be surprised if you catch Martin singing the song at an upcoming show or livestream. In his own words: "It’s a declaration of who I am; to reassure myself that I am honest and I can have peace and state my case to the world. It’s a song that still feels necessary to sing because it anchors me to what matters.”