Sutherland - Loner's Paradise


photo by Krit Upra

Ryan Sutherland is a Rochester based singer songwriter with a brand new record titled “Loner’s Paradise”. The record releases tomorrow, Ryan was kind enough to send us an advance copy for review purposes.

The lead off track “Church Bells” to me sounded as if 80’s Bruce Springsteen dressed up in a slightly spooky neo new wave vampire costume. Living up to the title, the track does indeed feature bells as well as a few interesting rhythmic twist and turns in terms of small tags and transitional pieces. “Good Eye” slips into a more bouncy rhythmic setting that features some joyful slide work. The track is quite enjoyable, and could be comparable to a Beatles-ish Wilco jam, but the slide guitar melodies are my personal star attraction. “17 and 23” brings on some more of the 80’s college rock vibes, this time with a more reverberated punch. Melodic percussion makes a nice cameo and a heavy emphasis on tambourine jangle persists throughout. The track has good energy and exits with a delicate touch. “I Stood Up” takes on a 3:4 folk/blues waltz feel reminiscent of The Band. Acoustic piano and guitar form the musical foundation for Mr. Sutherland to sing an upbeat wailing blues vocal. “Free Objectivity” is thick with reverb and semi ambient slide sounds. The lonely mix of acoustic guitar and reverb soaked space evokes a welcoming midnight canyon vibe. The track has a dreamlike folky quality about it. The ideas presented are a good change of pace in terms of album sequencing. “Whale Hunt” presents an indie rock Led Zeppelin attitude at the onset, which transitions to a space that reminds of what a new wave band could sound like if they had digested a steady stream of blues and jam band music. The pitch range of the vocals is somewhat reminiscent of the Ian Curtis style crossed with a bit of Bob Weir’s storytelling blues man bravado. The back half features some guitar led jamming that features a mix of tremolo bar and slide. Clocking in at around six minutes, this is the longest track thus far. “Grandad’s Racecar” goes more explicitly country than previous tracks, with a bit of a rock n roll edge maintained. The track’s chorus is catchy and features a nice display of Mr. Sutherland’s vocal range. The final track “Wander” is a lonely acoustic ballad dressed in reverb. The song is well done, but my main criticism of the album would probably be that it had a less impactful finish than I would have liked. That said, I think that this new record from Sutherland is a worthy listen, and I implore you to check it out tomorrow when it drops! Stay evil friends...

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