Sail On

How could you not be impressed? If you came upon Ryn Weaver, not knowing who she was or what to expect, you would be floored. As I was, when I saw her perform as an opening act for Billy Idol. She is just so fresh and compelling in her vocals and her personality, beautiful and great on stage, and once you’ve sat down to really listen, a good writer too. Obviously, in a fair world, she would be a huge star, but it’s not a fair world and the most interesting people are not always the most rewarded. According to her Instagram, Ryn’s biggest news is a rather drastic bleach job. Still awaiting new music though.

Runaway

“So much of my album has to do with running away and refusing to settle in one place. It’s about the good and the bad of going out on your own.” – Ryn Weaver

Clearly, running away has been a popular theme. It’s particularly poignant for young women who wish to escape from stifling home lives and see the expectations of their future as nothing but a burden. The option to run away and become a traveling musician isn’t exactly a new one; theater troupes and gypsy caravans have called out to the brave for centuries, and the performing arts have long been a designated haven for nonconformists. The idea of making a break for it is still a powerful one, even though we now enjoy a lot more personal freedom than ever before.

Promises

I think I featured this song a couple of years ago, when I first discovered Ryn Weaver. She hasn’t done anything since that time; she is apparently without a record label, despite the moderate success of her first album. Still, I advise everyone to continue patiently keeping an eye on her, because she is amazing. Besides her strength as a writer and performer, she is a very rare thing – a versatile vocalist who doesn’t rely on currently popular tics and mannerisms. We all know that every musical movement/generation has its own specific style, which usually stems from a whole lot of people trying to copy one original trailblazer, on to the point of cliche. Examples; 70’s hard rock singers yowling like Robert Plant, the entire 90’s mumbling like Kurt Cobain, post-Madonna pop stars who can’t actually sing but don’t mind taking their clothes off. Today, the trend seems to be singing at the top of your lungs, presumably the better to reach the back of the stadium. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Sia, Beyonce, plus a host of less popular names; everyone is belting it out like a Broadway diva. It’s effective but not given to nuance. It’s today’s vocal cliche. Ryn Weaver is a singer who could sing like that, because she has the lungs for it, but she doesn’t. Her vocal performances are all over the map, evoking dozens of  influences, sometimes all in the course of one song. It shows fantastic confidence for an artist fresh out of the nest, so to speak, and I truly hope she’s given the platform to develop and succeed.

Pierre

Last year, Ryn Weaver was on my list of favorite records, with points added for most interesting debut. Weaver is an incredibly promising artist. Her voice is amazing. She has the stage presence of a rock star. But her greatest strength is her eclecticism. She’s not about to be pigeonholed in any particular style; the songs on her album range from folky to hard rocking. Sometimes the same song goes from folky to hard rocking. Here, she strikes an artful balance of honky tonk and chamber pop. It’s an unexpected combination, and the mark of a thoroughly confident artist. Weaver is comfortable referencing a wide range of styles, both musically and vocally. Thanks to a background in both visual arts and theatre, she’s a complete package.