American singer/songwriter Ryan Follese, of Hot Chelle Rae fame, has recently released his debut solo self titled EP. Although there are hints of the pop punk days of HCR, the EP is more country orientated overall which is really refreshing.
The country influences start right from the first up tempo track - 'Put A Label On It' where a banjo is prominently featured, playing a catchy pattern throughout the song.
Essentially the song is about putting the 'girlfriend/boyfriend' label on a relationship. Lyrically, all the songs on the EP have a really good storytelling quality to them. I've picked out some lyrics from 'Put A Label On It' that show this:
'I think I know where this is going and it's gonna be a big change. I can read you like a book girl and we're on the same page.'
'I think it's time we defined the relationship.'
'There's more of your clothes than mine in my closet now.'
You can almost feel the story of this relationship develop through listening to the verses which really helps to keep the song interesting.
The first four tracks on the six track EP have a similarity in the fact that they are describing a relationship. After 'Put A Label On It' we have 'Wilder' which details just having fun and the unpredictability of youth.
'It's no fun if you know where you're going.'
'We get wilder, like a couple of kids in the dark playing with fire.'
Following this we have 'One Thing Right', a much slower track with a kind of reflective feel.
The lyric that sums up this song is 'I got one thing right, here in my arms and for once in someone's eyes I can do no harm.' Basically, this is saying that the narrator has found the 'right' person to be in a relationship with and that makes everything else seem more tolerable and okay.
As a more mellow track, 'One Thing Right' is introduced with a simple acoustic guitar and Ryan's vocal enters in softly, expressing the emotion of the lyrics. The instrumentation is built upon slowly and done well so as not to overpower the song.
'Lose A Little Sleep' follows and picks up the pace a little with drum machine style beats and an explosive chorus.
All the choruses on the EP are incredibly catchy, much like HCR songs were. They incorporate easy to memorise lyrics with great melodies and, in 'Lose A Little Sleep', powerful guitar and bass lines.
As the title suggests, 'Lose A Little Sleep' is about constantly thinking of someone, checking your phone or thinking about when you'll see them next.
The up beat nature of the EP is now back in full swing as 'Growing Up' starts.
This is your typical foot tapping, summer vibe type of track about not wanting to face the reality of growing up.
'This growing up is getting old.'
To end the EP we have the previously released single 'Float Your Boat' which I have already mentioned on this blog before (link below).
I think this is a really good ending to the EP because it is the most pop inspired track, I would say, which means it is up beat, positive and makes you want to jump around and dance.
I was really looking forward to the release of Ryan Follese's debut as a solo artist and I can happily say that I wasn't disappointed with the EP and I would highly recommend giving it a listen.
Until next time...
New Music Monday post featuring 'Float Your Boat': wewantgoodmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07