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Album Review: Avant Gold - Ryat

Album Review: Avant Gold - Ryat

Local siren Ryat (a.k.a. Christina McGeehan) stretches the limits of electro-pop with her recent full-length Avant Gold. Collaboratively paired with composer/boyfriend Tim Conley, Ryat’s “inter-dimensional” soundscapes create a universe of their own, luring listeners in with smoldering backbeats and dizzying synth. Expressive and pronounced, Ryat’s work is delicate, fierce, and daring, departing from the norms within her genre for destinations elsewhere. Heard in the decibels of last fall’s Street Noise Orkestra, Ryat’s songs are textured and rhythmic, built by an aesthetic mix of influence, outward and inner. “Polaroid” and “Interest Rate Lover” are emphatic with clipped beats and lines, sounding polished yet sincere. Similarly, Avant Gold shines.
The buzzing chords of “In My Face” frame Ryat’s bold but pretty vocals alongside a handclap-like tempo and resonating beeps. Delivered like a ballad, Avant Gold’s opener is infectious, bringing to mind the universal experience of letdowns and arguments. “The Gaze” feels global like M.I.A’s “Jimmy”, slow, fast, and engaging with Ryat’s voice rising above a flawless trail of synthesized beats, later fading from brief repetition into a well-crafted end. The calculated clicks of “Superficial Friction” add emphasis to sporadic notes on piano and dancey distortion, making the song’s rhythmic backbone bend away from the vocals in a disjointed yet constructive distance that nears charming dissonance. During “Bells” Ryat’s inner Bjork surfaces ringing out over a shuttering pulse of sound, suggestive of shuffling snare. Warm and ambient, “Bells” oozes allure, drawing in all ears to the duo’s uniquely formed composition. Dramatic, but appropriately so, “We walk slow, but as fast as they rush” begins with far off chords that focus into a concerto-like pairing of piano and strings. “Time Worn”, with its start/stop progressive intro, seems to mimic time itself through clock-like ticks and echoed loops. Closing with “Equipoise”, the album’s end settles into its listeners’ memory as Ryat softly sings “I think it's time to let you go.” A befitting outro, Ryat’s breathy farewell leaves fans transfixed and optimistic for whatever comes next, whatever comes after gold. You can stream and purchase the album here. - Dianca Potts
Published: October 13, 2010 |

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