L.A.-based singer/songwriter Phoebe Ryan’s EP is an electro-pop primer that’s lyrically driven.
Ryan’s music is dreamy and positive and if her easy-on-the-ears voice can seem waifish, at least she’s a waif with conviction.
There’s an otherworldly air to Ryan’s music that’s intriguing. Although the music is mellow enough for a bookstore or Starbucks lineup, there’s enough melodic action to generate interest.
Even down-tempo tracks like Homie (a cute earworm hook) are buoyed along by Ryan’s appealing voice – she’d sound perfect singing lullabies.
This lighter-than-air character shares shimmery traits with techno dweebs like Owl City, but Ryan’s sound displays a keen ear for editing skills. Despite the lush sound, the songs have a leanness to their arrangements. The balance struck between mood and production is tastefully aligned.
Ryan shares similarities with some Scandinavian singers like First Aid Kit, Lykke Li and MØ. They favour bright neo-abstract music under the vocals, which tend to push the melody. Ryan’s affinity for electronics puts her in an abstractionist camp but her pop sensibility keeps her from getting too weird.
Her ambient gems are perfect easy listening for the summer.
– Dean Gordon-Smith is a Vernon-based musician who reviews new music releases for The Morning Star.