Note: $18.00 is the day of show price.
WILLIAM RYAN KEY
Sometimes a step sideways is the best progression forward. After the breakup of Yellowcard in Spring 2017, vocalist/guitarist William Ryan Key did just that with his solo debut EP, THIRTEEN, which was released on May 25, 2018 via The Lone Tree Recordings. Both a sonic redirection and a rediscovering of his muse, THIRTEEN finds Ryan in a brand new headspace with a sound that moves away from the pop punk genre that Yellowcard helped create and into new uncharted territory that’s equally introspective but not as anchored in convention. “It took a long time to find my own focus and direction after 17 years in a band,” Ryan explains. “However, once I found it, the music felt like coming home. There was new freedom and creativity that I channeled into each of the songs.”
Acoustic and emotionally raw with a spacious and pristine hi-fi sound, Thirteen kicks off with the haunting “Old Friends”, with its un-nostalgic look at past mistakes (“I’m sitting on a mountain of guilt that I finally started chipping away”) and realizing that he’s ready to move forward. The epic soar of “Form and Figure” combines the tender introspection of Elliott Smith with the atmospherics of Hammock as filtered through the knowing eyes of Ryan Key. The first single “Vultures” retains a hint of his past sound in Yellowcard but decidedly switches up the chorus in a way that he could never accomplish in the pop punk paradigm. “‘Vultures’ was the first song written and recorded for Thirteen,” he explains. “I feel like it is the right song to help fans across the bridge from old to new, as well as introduce people who are new to my music to the sound.”
Coproduced with Arun Bali of Saves the Day (who also mixed the EP) at his own studio TheLone Tree Recordings, THIRTEEN is a pivotal mark in Ryan’s life. “2013 was a really difficult year for both me and the people I love,” he says. “When writing, I was looking back on the journey from then until now.” Another noticeable change was re-adding “William” back into his full name. Followers on Twitter are already accustomed to it (his handle is @williamryankey), but for many who know him simply as “Ryan Key,” an additional two syllables will need to be added when referring to him and his solo career. “William is my first name that I carry from my maternal grandfather,” he explains fondly. “He was always a huge inspiration to me so it’s an honor to use his name.”
With a new direction in life and a whole new sort of independence as a solo artist, Ryan is feeling the freedom of expanding his personal songbook. Still appreciative of his fans now as he was with Yellowcard, Ryan is always thankful to his fans who have supported him through his musical journey. As much as this EP is a new beginning for him, he sees it also as the beginning of a new relationship with his fans. He concludes, “I can only hope that this release is the beginning of a new chapter both for myself, and for the fans that have supported me for so very long.”
While taking their name from Jimmy Eat World’s “23”, with unmatched determination Selfish Things prove they are neither selfish nor self-serving. The Toronto, Ontario four-piece, consisting of Alex Biro (Vocals/Guitar/Piano), Mike Ticar (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Cam Snooks (Rhythm Guitar), and Jordan Trask (drums), bring unabashedly honest music to a world fueled by false promises and pretences. Having spent years cultivating and nurturing his raw, natural talent, dedication to musicianship and songwriting, frontman Alex Biro founded Selfish Things.
Pasadena-based record label Pure Noise Records has welcomed Redondo Beach, CA singer-songwriter Cory Wells to their eclectic, thriving roster of musicians and bands that includes Boston Manor, Seaway, The Story So Far and State Champs among others. Commenting on the signing, Wells says, “I’ve looked up to Pure Noise Records and their incredible roster for a long time. To be a part of that family now is such a surreal feeling. They believe in the music and they believe in me. Gratitude is an understatement. Only love.”
In a previous musical life, Wells played in various metal groups and was briefly a live member of the band Movements before they signed with Fearless Records. These days, he’s focused on his solo, acoustic career which has taken off since the release of his 2017 debut EP, How To Tear Apart The Ones You Love. The success led to a memorable performance at Taste of Chaos in front of 16,000 people and the subsequent release of new singles “End of a Good Thing” and “Walk Away,” which have collectively been streamed over 2.8 million times now.