Behind the songs – Track 1 – Dreams to Ashes

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing the stories behind the songs from my debut album.

In the video below, I discuss the opening song ‘Dreams to Ashes’ sharing my thoughts on what inspired the music and the lyrics.

Listen to the song on Spotify

Dreams to Ashes Artwork and alternates by Darlee Urbiztondo

‘Between a Disillusion and Resolution’ on Bandcamp

My album is now available to stream and buy on Bandcamp.

Whilst streaming is the norm, Bandcamp is by far the most effective way for me to make back money I spend on making a record so support through this medium is always greatly appreciated!

Whilst physical copies are currently in medium term planning, anyone who purchases a digital copy via Bandcamp, will be noted down for a discount for future physical releases.

In addition to the album, you will also have in your download package, all of the artwork as well as photos taken from the studio session.

My top podcasts – A remedy for self isolation.

Self isolation is becoming a situation that more and more people find themselves committing to. With that, there is the challenge of overcoming the pitfalls involved in this process, namely trying to resist climbing up the walls!

One of the best things I do on a now routine basis to pass the time when I am on my own is listen to podcasts.

Podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular media platform and I’m glad that this is so: because podcasts offer lots of opportunities for many beneficial experiences, namely:

1.) An opportunity to learn something new

2.) An opportunity to find out more about interesting people with interesting stories.

3.) It makes you a better listener. It increases your engagement in discussions.

4.) They encourage you to try something new and explore your own ideas.

5.) Keep up to date with current affairs and developments.

At a time when self isolation is becoming a reality, I thought I’d share some of my favourite podcasts. I hope it gives you an opportunity to find something that interests you and you can engage with over the coming weeks.

Happy listening!

Akimbo – Seth Godin

Link – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/akimbo-a-podcast-from-seth-godin/id1345042626

Topics – Culture, Business and Marketing

I’ve been following Seth Godin since my university days. He is an extraordinary writer with a fascinating philosophy of business and marketing.

It’s a heartwarming, empathetic and optimistic podcast to listen to and it’s an easily digestible average run time of 25 minutes.

If you are interesting in doing better work and levelling up, this podcast is for you.

The Bob Lefsetz Podcast

Topics – The music industry, Culture

Link – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-bob-lefsetz-podcast/id1316200737

If you are in the Music Industry, you really should know who Bob is. His weekly letter is read by tens of thousands, many of which are some of the most well known people in the business.

He’s opinionated, fiercely honest and that is a breath of fresh air in an industry that seemingly has plenty of nonsense.

On his podcast, Bob interviews a wide range of musicians, managers, engineers, CEOs and beyond. Some of the stories are incredibly funny and remarkable.

As a starting point, his conversations with Canadian manager Jake Gold (The tragically hip) are incredibly useful for anonymous artists such as myself.

Kermode on Film

Topics – Film and Cinema

Link – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/kermode-on-film/id1436700945

Mark Kermode is one of my go to people for reviews and discussions about film and cinema and as a result I have discovered a lot of films I adore.

His regular conversations with Film reviewer Jack Howard offer a funny almost father and son dynamic and there are some great episodes where they share their opinions, debate and amusingly throw digs at one another.

There are also some live shows with great interviews with actors/actresses and directors as well.

Song Exploder

Topic – Songwriting and production

Link – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/song-exploder/id788236947

This gem of a podcast is wonderfully insightful and you get a glimpse into the minds of many brilliant music artists.

The premise is simple. An artist unpacks the songwriting approach and explains the demo process as well as demonstrating different parts of their songs including sounds deep in the mix that you wouldn’t always expect.

Other noteworthy podcasts I listen to –

James O’Brien – Full Disclosure

Tifo Football podcast

The Intelligence by The Economist

If there are any podcasts you highly recommend, feel free to suggest them in the comment section below.

Ryan Mark Elliott – Solo album ‘Between a disillusion and resolution’ – release date 27th March 2020.

After many years of writing and recording, I am proud to be sharing the news with you that I will be releasing my debut solo album on Friday 27th March 2020.

Between a Disillusion and Resolution

1.) Dreams to Ashes

2.) Half Notion

3.) Grey Day

4.) Myopia

5.) The Upside Down

6.) Kaleidoscope

7.) Continents Away (Feat. Emma Davidson)

8.) Anything is Possible

9.) Exiles

After the release of Eden Shadow’s 2016 album ‘Melodies for Maladies’, a totally grand, ambitious and heavy concept album, I wanted to write a collection of more individual songs. Eventually it became clearer that this was a perfect stepping stone to start releasing music under my own name.

My debut record is influenced by a broad range of artists who have and still use the full album as a full artistic statement, including Rush, Steven Wilson, Tool, Kate Bush, David Bowie, King Crimson, Tears for Fears, Bjork and Mew (to mention but a few). Despite releasing singles and being in an increasingly singles driven business, it was my full intention for this to be an album experience from start to finish.

Lyrically, the album explores and tackles many themes that veer between disillusion and resolution including unrest and uncertainty across the globe, identity, mental health, high profile scandals, climate change, family and long distance relationships, and the transformations and revelations of travelling or moving somewhere new.

For now, the album will be released in stream only format, with the plans for a limited physical release at a later date this year.

Anything is Possible Lyric Video

Grey Day Lyric Video

Myopia

Inspiration for the song

The next song to be released from my upcoming solo album is ‘Myopia’.

This is the darkest and heaviest track on the album. I wanted to write a song that captured the sense of disorientation I have experienced when following the news in the latter stages of the last decade. A lot of situations surrounding this may have occurred as a result of short sightedness and decision making based on the short term as opposed to the long term.

All the while there is the ever present and existential threat of climate change and the warnings from experts of the short amount of time we have left to do something about it.

Lyrics

There are some out there who would let the world burn 

If it’s for profit or self gain 

There are some who would let their pride get in the way

and steer us all off the rails 

There are some who will use their position of power

To exploit those around them 

There are some who lack so much compassion 

to question what virtue remains 

This is our world 

Our fragile world 

Before the wildfire spreads 

And the storms come raging in

Before our oceans drown in plastic 

Before our children suffer 

Let us look beyond our myopia 

Credits

RME – Guitars, Vocals, Moog, Keyboards

Emma Davidson – Backing Vocals

Ben Elliott – Bass Guitar

Aled Lloyd – Drums

Produced by RME and Andrew Bishop

Recording and Mixing Engineer – Andrew Bishop

Mastering Engineer – Steve Kitch

Artwork – Darlee Urbiztondo

Fear Inoculum

Tool’s latest record is a compelling listen, and I couldn’t be any happier.

It just goes to show how powerful Tool’s influence is; when you have a world where people are overwhelmed with information and access to the entire history of music, as well as more entertainment forms than ever, they can release an album to an audience that has held a high level of anticipation for 13 years and cause a ruckus.

To the point where they were the number 1 trend on Youtube for the beginning of August and are currently competing with Taylor Swift in the charts.

I’ve always had my ears out for a new record. I love all of their discography but particularly like the hugely ambitious turn they took in the noughties with Lateralus and 10,000 days. The former being my absolute favourite.

A large part of Tool’s audience prefer Undertow or Aenima but what connects all Tool fans is there is always something to discuss about their music. It’s no wonder that there has usually been 5 years between each release because the level of depth and sophistication of each record is remarkable.

I honestly thought at some points, we would never see another Tool album. There seemed to be so many obstacles in the way, other commitments, family, musical endeavours, Maynard’s vineyard or potentially legal issues.

Making a record is elusive and when you want to release something that is inspired and fulfilling to oneself, it just takes time. It’s difficult to tell how long how much time it will take.

Fear Inoculum appears to cover many themes, namely the number seven and growing older and wiser, but as per usual when it comes to Tool, unpacking all themes requires patience, multiple listens and your undivided attention.

That’s what I gave this record, the first day it was released. I shut the curtains, played it through my speakers and sat there listening to the 80 minute opus and it was a zen like experience.

The sound of the album is absolutely incredible. Everything sounds gorgeous and there is a phenomenal amount of care that has been taken in designing the sonic landscape.

Since then, I can’t stop going back to listen to it.

The new album is not just a win for Tool fans but Music itself. This is the reason why.

In a world where popular and pandering for approval has run amok and the majors are signing teens that are singing about nothing that would remotely shift the culture. Tool stand their ground by doing things their own way, experimenting, taking their time and doing it all on their terms. You may not like this record, you may even hate it. That’s okay though, this record isn’t for you. But for those of us who love it…

13 years later, we finally have a new Tool album to immerse ourselves into.

And as grateful as I am to hear Fear Inoculum.

I hope it won’t be the last record they make.