This past weekend (on October 3, to be specific) I debuted my sophomore release Time To Heal. This time around, I released an EP that was quite different from my debut album, so I thought I’d explain myself a bit.
A little less than a year ago, I released my debut solo album Reclaiming Humanity, a progressive thrash metal album. Looking back on it, I am quite proud of that effort. I still think that the guitar work, lyrics, and songwriting are great, but there a few things with Reclaiming Humanity that in hindsight are not exactly ideal. The drums are pretty lackluster, mainly due to the fact that I had given up the drums three years before, only relearning how to play a month before recording because I couldn’t find a drummer. The production was also pretty terrible because I had no idea what I was doing and had no recording equipment other than a Blue Snowball podcasting microphone. Worst of all though, were the vocals, although considering I learned how to sing a month before laying down the tracks and had no idea how to compose vocal melodies is understandable.
I wanted to put out another release that amended these grievances. So, I improved my vocals via practice and lessons, upgraded my equipment, learned what it meant to actually be producer, and decided to completely forgo drums by making the release an unplugged EP. This last idea was also important because it lined up with where I was artistically at the time. I had been playing with the idea of an acoustic EP for some time. Over the years I had accumulated a collection of acoustic songs that I never had any chance to utilize. So, I finalized the arrangements, wrote another song, and was ready to go.
I am most proud of this collection of music because I made something unlike anything I ever done before. My goal with this EP release was to create something that was the exact opposite of Reclaiming Humanity, not because I was unhappy with it, but just to challenge myself in a way I never had done before.
Reclaiming Humanity was heavy, progressive, and long. Time To Heal is soft, simple, and short. Reclaiming Humanity contained outward focused lyrics concerning the future of humanity. Time To Heal takes a more introspective approach, focusing on personal emotions and experiences.
Time To Heal also provided me with an opportunity to finally incorporate the influences I draw from Eastern music and culture. I had hinted at these influences before, but I had never quite incorporated it as fully as I would have liked. Putting these inspirations on full display, the music incorporates Eastern and African instrumentation while drawing lyrical ideas from Eastern philosophies of yin and yang and life and death.
Time To Heal is also a pseudo-concept album. Not in the strict sense of the term, which is commonly associated with stories of a hero or heroine journeying through space on intergalactic adventure. It’s a journey, not a story. The album aims to take the listener on a journey through life, a journey if healing. This life is hard and at some point, if we live long enough, things eventually hurt us. We all must experience pain. Time To Heal is about embarking on a journey to overcome this pain and hopefully one-day turn it into strength and wisdom. It starts off in a place of pain and isolation and brings the listener to a destination beyond these sufferings, a place some might call enlightenment. In reality, however, few people actually reach enlightenment, so we never can actually quite make it to the end of this journey. But that’s okay, for all that matters is becoming stronger each day and striving to overcome all that which hopes to tie us down.
People have been asking me to describe the music, wondering what genres I am delving into now. Honestly, I am not quite sure. I am tempted to label it as something along the lines of World Music or Folk Rock, but that doesn’t seem quite right. I have been calling it acoustic rock for lack of a better term, although that doesn’t seem to suffice either. If I had to compare it to other artists, I’d say it’s a mix of John Butler, Damnation era Opeth, some singer-songwriter style acoustic rock, and Asian and Middle Eastern World/Folk music. If that sounds a little confusing, I apologize. Maybe you can come up with a better genre label for me. I would be most appreciative. Regardless, I hope you enjoy my newest release.
And, as always, please remember to
Sacrifice, Endure, and Go The Distance,
PS: check out the album at these sites:
CD Baby- http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ryanloftus
Twitter- @RyanLoftusMusic https://twitter.com/RyanLoftusMusic
My Band’s Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/pages/April-Uprising/845794345455844
Contact me at email@example.com