Ryan Burns And The Vocal Ghosts
“To invite readers (and myself) into the repellant landscape (hidden, but not completely; deliberately buried, but not forgotten) was to pitch a tent in a cemetery inhabited by highly vocal ghosts.” -Toni Morrison
Ryan Burns is a quiet, thoughtful man. Not especially comfortable talking about himself or displaying emotions Ryan chooses to use song as a backdrop to bring you into his world. As the spectres grew too big for a solo act he then recruited other veteran Chicago musicians to form Ryan Burns & The Vocal Ghosts.
Though a folk singer at heart, the music of Ryan Burns draws from genres like bossa nova, indie rock, and early jazz. The constantly shifting ground keeps listeners on their toes while weaving narratives about missed opportunities, new challenges, and the ups and downs of the day to day. The rest of the band, The Vocal Ghosts, include David Thrift (Thompson Springs, Elk Walking) on electric guitar, Brian Weakly (Bailiff) on bass, and Brian Olamit (The Skylarks) on drums, with several other guest stars. They are tight, powerful, and versatile enough to bring a sense of consistency even with wild sonic shifts from song to song.
Their 2020 debut album, Static Year, follows Ryan’s life in the year before deciding to pursue music full time. It begins with hope and optimism, but is pulled down into the doldrums of monotony, desperation, and depression. Working with producer and musician Will Phalen, the album pulls thirteen songs from a collection of ninety rough demos Ryan made with his phone, guitar, banjo, and a Maestro Rhythm King drum machine. From the beginning Static Year all about opposites: vintage and modern, analog and digital, driving and introspective. The variety enters the listener into not just a single moment, but a whole series of moments throughout one year.
Ryan is also a member of Chicago band Distant Brothers and toured solo extensively the year before forming the band. He’s shared stages with The Lighthouse and the Whaler, The Last Bison, and Them Coulee Boys, and played at Metro, Beat Kitchen, Cubby Bear, and headlined Chillfest 2020. Their debut album Static Year will debut in fall 2020 wherever music is sold online and you can contact them at email@example.com.
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