Anything is Possible debut single 7th June 2019

The first single from my debut solo record is called ‘Anything is Possible’

It will be released on the 7th June 2019.

Below is a snippet of the artwork done by the incredibly talented Darlee Urbiztondo.

You can find her work at https://instagram.com/myhappylee_darleeorurbz?igshid=py69iuoz1paq

Ryan Mark Elliott Debut Solo Album.

I am pleased to announce to you that my fourth full feature release will be my debut solo album.

As I have spent the last couple of years writing the music that will appear on this album, it became more and more clear to me that releasing this under my name made total sense and I look forward to sharing it with you this coming summer.

As to what style it is, that is hard for me to pin point in short, but what I can say is that it is exactly and uncompromisingly the kind of album with the kind of music I wanted to write and you can expect the music to venture rock, metal, ballads, blues, dream pop, and 80s style sense of conceptual grandeur.

The first single ‘Anything is Possible’ will be released on June 7th with single artwork, teasers, videos, details. to come shortly.

Outside the studio in Cardiff, Wales. Photo taken by Bethan Miller. You can find her at http://www.bethanmiller.co/

To keep up to date with the upcoming release, you can connect via the following social media.

My Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/ryanmarkelliottmusic

My Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/ryanmarkelliottmusic/

My Twitter account.

https://twitter.com/RyanElliottmu?lang=en

Mark Hollis

A few weeks ago, we received the sad news that Mark Hollis of Talk Talk had passed away at 64 years of age.

Our heroes are passing away at a quicker and quicker rate.

And whilst my generation and younger is grappling with everything around us telling us to chase for approval, I find it interesting that we are gravitating towards the dead artists who were outsiders and did things their way.

Can anyone say ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’?

One can only imagine what his online presence would Freddie be still alive. The very notion amuses me.

And whilst the wave of love for Queen has been rekindled and passed on to generation Z courtesy of the film and a rock and roll story, Mark Hollis is a starkly contrasted kind of outsider.

A very introverted and quiet one.

Nevertheless, Hollis is an artist who still left his legacy and impact.

First, it was the synth pop anthems, the most famous probably being ‘it’s my life’ but the true magic of Hollis’s work comes later in Talk Talk’s career in two albums that showcased a defiance towards industry pressure and allowed the band to stick to it’s artistic integrity, ‘Spirit of Eden’ and ‘Laughing Stock’.

Both albums would go on to inspire the post rock movement in the 90s.

I’ll never forget the first time I listened to ‘Spirit of Eden’ all the way through. I sat in my studio with the lights off and a drink at hand. The entire experience was a cathartic one, the record can drift you off into a zen like state of mind.

The space of the music, the carefully selected sounds and elongated notes, the gradual build up of texture, a mumble of words followed by a crystal clear statement.

The record entirely resonated with me in the way I understand but can’t quite articulate at the same time. It’s a very powerful kind of music.

When was the last time you heard a record like that?

If you’re in your twenties, I’m not sure how many of you may have had this experience.

And what’s especially sad is music’s cultural relevance has reduced significantly. Music has become a coarse reflection of reality, a background noise, a state of mindlessness that boasts fame and fortune as opposed to personal fulfilment.

There are artists out there like that today but it’s hard for them to make waves in a time where we’ve got to grips with distribution, but no idea about marketing and there’s too much of everything.

But all the while, Talk Talk inspire me to be the kind of artist I want to be…my own artist.

You can do things your own way, you can stick with your gut and follow your own path and you can be an outsider.

It can be just about the music and you can be an introvert.

And the irony is that you’ll probably be more respected for it.

Rest in peace Mark Hollis. Thank you for the music.

https://open.spotify.com/album/4YXo7p7aubyVIbNLoVlBp9?si=h4R6u95oSiSzT9kY7xbtTg

Bohemian Rhapsody

I know I am late to the party, having only seen this tonight.

The critics slammed the movie and I usually agree with them so I had my reservations.

But then all of a sudden, everyone is going Queen mental, including kids and I get a real sense of the movie causing a ruckus. Then Mark Kermode says on his podcast that the film made him cry thrice and I usher myself to the cinema whilst my inner dialogue goes ‘Ryan you idiot, go see this movie about one of your favourite bands, your childhood heroes’.

The production process certainly wasn’t without drama. Sacha Baren Cohan dropped out of the film due to creative disagreements, then Dexter Fletcher had to take over directing after Bryan Singer ended up behaving the exact way a director shouldn’t behave and this all had the spellings of a disaster.

And I get why the critics have a problem. The problematic moralistic subtext concerning Freddie’s orientation. The character portrayals themselves weren’t that particularly nuanced. And as someone who has avidly read Brian May’s biography and watched all the documentaries, the film took serious liberties with the timeline. Song releases, The American tour and then the biggest being Freddie revealing he has AIDS before the performance at Live Aid (he wasn’t even ill at this time). All for the narrative purpose to enhance the drama.

Then there is the constant stream of wink wink, referential parts from John Deacon jamming ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ to Mike Myers and that ‘Wayne’s World’ part and I could go on about the same problems already mentioned but the actual matter of fact is…

NOBODY CARES!!!

While I was to some extent hoping to see the full biography come to play, right up to Freddie’s passing and the wonderful musical material that would be released later in Queen’s career, the film set out to do something different.

This was to capture the magic of what Queen was and still is.

The film for the most part focuses on Freddie, who is wondrously recreated by Rami Malek, who’s performance is sensational. The interesting thing is the audacity of who Freddie was because, he was his own artist and he did things his way.

This kind of story is so engaging because Freddie is an outsider. Queen worked relentlessly hard and the world came to them.

Who are the artists out there now, playing by their own rules? Who are artists who can say no? Who are the artists who are artists first and not brands? Where are the risk takers?

I can name you some but they are nowhere near the mainstream.

We live in a different world today where Music is no longer important than politics and if Freddie was alive today, he would have plenty to say about it. I can’t help but think the film highlights a thing we all need that is well and truly and lacking in the Music business today.

The power of being an outsider and doing things your way.

Queen did it and they had the definitive front man in Freddie leading them, with a whole load of charisma enough to hold the arena filled audience at Wembley in the palm of his hand.

By the live aid sequence, my eyes started watering, because I started remembering what it was like to hearing this band for the first time, how in awe I was of their live performances when I watched the videos at my grandparents’ house and how Queen are truly something special.

And when you are truly special, you are something that stands the test of time.

This film has made Queen the biggest band in the world.

And in a world that is currently so divided, that tells you to stick to the rule book. Queen stand as a beacon for letting your freak flag fly.

‘But it’s been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise, I consider it a challenge before the whole human race, and I a’int gonna loose’.

So my favourite records of the year are as follows:

Natalie Prass – The Future and The Past
Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
Julia Holter – Aviary 
Rosalia – El Mal Querer
Natalia Lafourcade – Musas Vol. 2
Daughters – You Won’t Get What you Want
Low – Double Negative
U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited
Ariana Grande – Sweetener
Anderson Pakk – Oxnard
MGMT – Little Dark Age
Beeach House – 7

And here’s a playlist with all of the albums (and some cool tracks from other records I have enjoyed too).

Anything else I should check out from the 2018 releases?

Merry Christmas!

 

Julia Holter – Aviary

And they say the album format is dead…

It may well be on a monetary level but needless to say, it does not stop artists like Julia Holter from using the album format to make her statement.

And quite an artistic statement is Aviary.

Clocking at just under 90 minutes, the record is a experimental odyssey with so much depth and beauty, it is initially overwhelming. Similarly to the first time I heard Kate Bush’s ‘The Dreaming’ or Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’, the album reveals its’ magic and gradually blossoms with repeated listens.

The title is inspired by Lebanese American writers Etel Adnan quote ‘I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds’. Such a sound collage can be blissful, peaceful, quietly unsettling. Julia achieves this in fifteen tracks that don’t have a distinct structure as such but dive into experimental explorations, build in tension and widen up a panoramic canvas of sounds consisting of piano, strings, drums, trumpets and even bagpipes; as well as Julia’s typically layered and ambient vocals.

This is demonstrated in ‘I Shall Love 2’, the first track to be released. There is not too much more needed to be said about the music as it is far better for it to be experienced. That being said, the noticeable trait of Julia as shown in her previous works is her evocative ambiguity. Julia didn’t really know how to articulate herself when I saw her live, she appears introverted and coy on social media. Ultimately, her goal is to get lost in the Music. There is no conventional structure, no direct meaning to the songs she does, instead there is an internal dialogue, a collection of sounds and words that may at times be on a lyrical level non sensical, outright bizarre but ultimately so satisfying.

And when so much Music out there is so formulaic, so lacking in it’s risk taking and no more than chewing gum for the ears; this record is a breath of fresh air. I have listened to this record with headphones on by a beach, I have listened to this record whilst turning the lights off in my apartment with dimly lit candles. Whatever way I have enjoyed discovering this record, ‘Aviary’ is truly an exhilarating musical experience.

The best records for me have been released by three women this year, Janelle Monae’s ‘Dirty Computer’, Natalie Prass’ ‘The Future and The Past’ and now Julia Holter’s ‘Aviary’. All of which showcase in their own way a defiance to the current chaotic climate we find ourselves dealing with in 2018. They are a celebration of opening up to vulnerability, love and truth…and that is when Music becomes so powerful.

‘That is all’.

 

Journey of The Effervescent by Kinky Wizzards

Over the last year, me and the brothers have been busy planning new things for the Kinky Wizzards.

Simultaneously, the boys decided to put a new live Music video together by themselves where they explored some of the older material.

It is safe to say after watching this video of the brothers do their thing, the song title says it all. Vivacious and enthusiastic.

I look forward to joining them for our string of shows this summer.

Ryan