Harmony may be the "order of the universe" as well as the title of her new album, says Canadian singer and songwriter Serena Ryder, but it's also, she adds, "the merging of symbiotic notes that join together to make the music louder, bigger." If you can wade past the cosmic hyperbole, it's wise just to focus on the "louder, bigger" concept when it comes to Ryder's densely packed and diverse new album. The hip-shaking alt/pop and goose-bump inducing vocals are still very much on display on Harmony (November 27, EMI Canada) but the folky strumming core of Ryder's music has been supplanted by a more daring production edge. Ryder called on two producers for her first new full-length in five years: Jerrod Bettis (Gavin Degraw) and producer/songwriter Jon Levine (Nelly Furtado), both of whom served as multi-instrumentalists with Ryder in her home studio. Lead single, the perfectly titled "Stompa", is all that and more as the song moves from Adele-styled torcher to blistering funk/rocker with a killer bass line. New track "What I Wouldn't Do" is a more traditional Ryder pop/folk track, hand-clapped beats and acoustic urgency married to an infectious chorus hook.
Serene Ryder - "What I Wouldn't Do" (from Harmony)
Serene Ryder - "Stompa" (from Harmony)