Band: Matt Ryd
Album: Looking for Home
Release Date: September 10, 2010
I was first turned on to Matt Ryd through a series of covers I discovered performed by him just a few months ago. These include re-imaginings of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and — even better — a Stevie Wonder medley consisting of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” “Superstition” and “Isn’t She Lovely?”
The tunes are fun, mostly for being what they are: New, acoustic versions of songs I’d never heard in that way before. They’re inventive, and showcase Matt’s special pipes.
Anyway, I was given access to his debut album — he released a three-track EP in 2008 — and I think it’s a very safe disc for him to release. There’s nothing here too groundbreaking, risky or even as unique and different as those acoustic covers, yet the collection of songs again served as a reminder of Matt’s talents as a singer-songwriter.
Songs like “For So Long” and “Lie to Me” immediately reminded me of “Catch My Disease” by Ben Lee. I think anytime I hear xylophones, it’s all but impossible for me to not recall that uber popular single by the Australian singer-songwriter. You know the one I’m talking about.
I’m not as well-versed in Ben’s music, but he and Matt share a couple similarities to have me think that if you like one, you’ll probably like the other. And, they both attracted the fine people over at Scrubs back when the show was still on the air. Ben’s “Catch My Disease” was featured in two episodes, while Matt’s “Healed” — which is on the new album as well as his 2008 EP — got play, too.
I think the song that’s the most different from the others on Looking for Home is “When I Fall.” It’s as close to risky as Matt gets this time around, mostly because its tone is a smidge darker and Matt croons in a deeper, more serious voice.
And with good reason, too. I mean whether symbolic or not, Matt is singing about “teetering on the brink,” standing high above the ground and hoping somebody breaks his fall.
Gonna climb back up and stand upon this wall
Gonna jump and hope you catch me when I fall
Along with Ben Lee, Matt Ryd brings Ben Kweller to mind. I was also reminded of Owl City, and more specifically, his hit song “Fireflies.” It and Matt’s “Home” have eerily similar beginnings.
I find Matt Ryd to be an accomplished singer-songwriter whose band — including a trumpet, violin, bass and additional guitars — added nice texture to help form his soft rock/pop sound.
And this is really only the beginning for this dude. I’m anxious to see how he grows as an artist.
- Matt Ryd is based in Chicago.
- He’ll be celebrating the release of his new record, Looking for Home, at Schubas on September 10 with Mike Mentzer (Chicago) and Little Light (also Chicago). Tickets are $10.