Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Nick Ryan has worked with GRAMMY winners, former major label band members, and music publishers and songwriters across North America and Europe, trying to hone in on his artistry and take his career to the next level.
After many trials, errors, and disappointments trying to please everyone but himself, he has finally taken control of his artistry. Experimenting with various producers both in the Washington, DC area and his new home in Nashville, TN, he has finally found the right collaborators to realize his vision.
After a five-year hiatus since the release of his debut album 'Lone Wolf,' we get to embrace the sophomore project of Nick Ryan as he propels into an alternative rock panache dripping with charisma. 'Nemesis' is the twelve-track album perfectly curated while focusing on the retrieval of control and power.
Giving life to the project with production architect Jordan Grubbs at Magic Square Recording in Nashville, we get to hear the two kick-offs 'Nemesis' with the introductory single "Welcome to the Nightmare." Adopting a familiar sound that sits just right on your ears, there's a powerful presence that looms around in the aura of this song. Released before the album hit streaming platforms, this track depicts dark imagery that's accompanied by rustic elements found in the amplified rock sound that Nick Ryan hones in on. With a smoldering vocal performance that echoes his welcoming announcement to listeners far and wide, we appreciate the ambition that heavily sways in this piece.
Taking us into the title track, "Nemesis," we're fully drawn in towards the opulent croons that he performs. His lyrical motifs have us feasting on vivid imagery that is served up with timely percussion and a killer rhythmic groove. Much like what we see with "Jealous Sea," the instrumentation coincides with his vocals in such a cohesive manner that we can't help but get lost in the musical foundation before us. Locking us into the infectious altitude that his charisma travels, our senses are heightened, and we're enthralled by the way everything unfolds on 'Nemesis.'
Playing upon a nostalgic shimmer of classic rock hues, "Murder Business" and "Don't Hold Your Breath" gives us the reminiscent vibrations that come from a tried and true genre. Sticking with an upbeat demeanor, the chugging guitar riffs fill up our minds in an immersive experience that has us effortlessly flowing with the tide of musicality, whereas a song like "Narcissist" takes on a more acoustic forward ambiance as we slow the tempo down and drown out our thoughts with the prevailing timbres of Nick Ryan.
Grippingly raw with what he has to offer, there's depth to the stories he tells through his carefully crafted lyrics. Taking us through a rollercoaster of intensified emotion felt, the relevance that these tracks emit resonates with us in ways you would have to hear to imagine. Take "Politics & MindGames," and "Toast," for example; the gritty and unfiltered persona of Nick Ryan belts out what we're all thinking on the daily. Acting as a voice that his listeners are willing to tune into, he is the exact bold presence that we need guiding the way. Further bringing life to how everything flows into one another, Nick Ryan is a master at curating the perfect experience.
Following the notions of consistency with a record that speaks for itself, we have Nick Ryan stating that he will, in fact, not be silent. "I Will Not Be Silent" takes us to the halfway point of the album where we get to closely reflect on his meaning laced into each song heard on 'Nemesis.' With a slow tempo that approaches this subject matter with minimalism in the instrumentation, we get to carefully listen to the lyrical motifs that Nick Ryan intertwines his messaging with.
Swimming in the depths of Nick Ryan's alternative ways, "What U Did 2 Me," "Good People Are Hard to Find," and "Bow Down" truly play into the inimitable sounds that Nick Ryan throttles through this album. Ramping us up and projecting an edgy grace upon us, the way he styles his vocalization comes through with pure passion and unfiltered charm. You get a little bit of everything from these bolstered soundscapes. Treating them like mini journeys into the soul of Nick Ryan, we're brought with a buoyant energy that picks us up gracefully and lets us down to the ground with ease. There's plenty to dissect in between these pieces, and luckily for us, that's what the repeat button is for.
Priding himself on a listening experience that is the authentic artist with no bells, whistles, or gimmicks, Nick Ryan states, 'The original titles I was throwing around were Politics & Mind Games and Welcome to the Nightmare. I decided on Nemesis because it describes a person - an alter ego similar to Lone Wolf. After everything I've gone through up to this point, these tracks are more relevant to my life than ever.'
Listen to 'Nemesis' on all digital streaming platforms today.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Nick Ryan, and congratulations on the release of your sophomore album "Nemesis." Could you please share some deeper insight into what this project means to you?
Thank you! 'Nemesis' means a lot to me. I had more creative freedom with this project, so first and foremost, the album means independence. I had a lot of creative control on this record, and it's the sound I wanted "Lone Wolf" to have. Organic production, real instruments, no autotune. It was a breath of fresh air. I wanted to delve deeper into the dark themes that I started in my first album. I'm so happy and proud of this record!
What have you learned in the five years that you took between albums? Did your creative process change for the better?
I learned how to co-write. I learned how to find my voice. I learned how to stand up for myself. I learned how to put myself first. I learned to stop people-pleasing. I regained my confidence. My songwriting has improved, and there are even better songs that I haven't released yet.
Out of the twelve tracks offered up, do you happen to have one that resonates with you more than the others do? Why?
It's so hard to pick a favorite out of all these tracks. I really believe that these songs really flow as a cohesive unit. If I had to choose one, I would say "Bow Down" because it shows a side of my personality that only my friends see. It's such a fun and funny song, as well as empowering. "Jealous Sea" would be a close second because, musically, it's the sound I have been going for in my music.
What do you hope that your audience can take away from this album?
I wrote this album dealing with my struggles in the music industry, and it put me in a dark place. I wrote these songs to come out of it. I want listeners to take away that there is a light at the end of the tunnel no matter what life throws at you. Keep fighting.
In terms of comparing your debut album to 'Nemesis,' what are some similarities and differences that you hear between the two?
My first album was stylistically all over the place. I was experimenting with genres, and I knew that some of the songs didn't mesh. "Nemesis" feels like a cohesive package. I also sound more confident on this record since I had already been in the studio multiple times since recording my first album. "Nemesis" is also rawer in its production. I'm glad I have worked with different producers to ensure that my material sounds fresh. Both are similar in the number of guitars on the records. There are lots!
What's next for you?
Lots more music! I have an unplugged album that is being mastered as we speak as well as the third album that I have already started recording. I have a Christmas single coming soon, as well as a few remixes of songs from 'Nemesis' that I'm really looking forward to sharing as well as the final music videos from the album.