Knowing my passion for Ryan Adams, a post featuring these guys shouldn’t come as a surprise. After Romantica‘s “America” album was featured on Paste Magazine’s “Top 100 Albums of 2007”, comparisons began popping up between Romantica’s singer/songwriter Ben Kyle, and both Ryan Adams and Jeff Tweedy just about everywhere… heady company indeed.
When I first heard those comparisons, I was intrigued to say the least. After all, Adams and Tweedy are two of my favourite artists. But, more interestingly, both were known for playing in the alt.country/Americana style… and I knew that Ben Kyle was an Irish boy, and I wondered whether he would be able to bring that authenticity to the Americana style.
I shouldn’t have doubted it for a second.
Ben Kyle has said of the band’s style that:
It’s really hard to be objective about your own sound, particularly when you’re trying to sound subjective, but if if I had to label what we do… I’d probably call it “Irish Americana Pop.” Some of the artists I’ve listened to a lot on the American side are Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams/Whiskeytown, The Jayhawks, Wilco, Springsteen, and Dylan. And on the Irish/Brit side, Van Morrison, The Waterboys, Nick Drake, Belle and Sebastian and a lot of Irish folk. I think you can definitely hear some of these footprints, and we definitely take more of traditionalist approach.
And I can certainly hear pretty much all those influences in there. Although if I had to say what it immediately recalls for me, I’d probably say a delightful mix of Ryan Adams, Wilco, Del Amitri and some Gin Blossoms thrown in there for good measure. In fact, I can even hear some hints of The Damnwells in there, particularly in the opening chords of their tune, “Queen of Hearts”. In other words, it’s simply heaven.
The songs I’ve included below all come from “America” album – except for the bonus goodness of Ben Kyle and Ryan Adams performing together on one of Ben’s songs. Do yourself a favour, and check out the album now.
Listen. Love. Support.
(Aside: I have to pop down to Sydney tomorrow for work requirements, and will be there until next week, so I might not be able to pop onto the blog much. I’ve post-dated a post to appear on Live Music Friday, so hopefully that will appear without a hitch…)