With In the Dusk of Everything (October 23), Matthew Ryan completes his masterful trilogy of personal introspection and renewal that began with 2010's Dear Lover. The electro-beat ambient atmosphere of last year's quite brilliant I Recall Standing As If Nothing Could Fall has been replaced with a far more vivid acoustic template, stripping back studio production ornaments to leave only the skeletal structure of Ryan's own rubbed-raw rasp of a voice, a sparse if elegantly organic instrumental backing and the stark relief of some of the most awe inspiring poetic lyricism you're likely to hear this or any year. “I wanted to make a modern folk record," says Ryan, "I wanted it to feel like an autumnal film where each song waltzed into the next, where the story unfolded without any bluster other than what happens in the story." The stories are meditations on what Ryan calls "what happens between men and women in their wrestling with mortality, the mortality of dreams, intimacy, despair and trust", imposing concepts that retain their own graceful humility and humanity in the hands of someone who has lived through the dark passages to find comforting rays of light and hope. Dig deep below the surface of "And It's Such A Drag" and you'll find a song that chills you to the bone even as it moves you to tears. Stream the full album (and buy) at Bandcamp.
Matthew Ryan - "And It's Such A Drag" (from In the Dusk of Everything)
Matthew Ryan - "She's A Sparrow" (from In the Dusk of Everything)