By Erin Holdbeck. Somewhere between both European and North American tours, becoming your favourite person on twitter, and making trap towels a fashion statement, Ryan Hemsworth has released his latest LP, Alone for the First Time. The future synth sound, which has become Hemsworth’s signature, pairs perfectly with the indie vocalists selected by the producer himself.
Ryan Hemsworth began producing for rapper, Shady Blaze, back in 2011 and has since gained recognition for his personal tracks. He has also released remixes of Grimes, Wave Racer, and Lorde to name a few. Last years’s LP, Guilt Trips, showed that Ryan is more than just a “Cool DJ” and he has the Juno to prove it. Not bad for a guy who grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Alone for the First Time puts you in touch with Ryan’s (and your own) sentimental side from start to finish. Each track conveys an intense sense of longing, hope, and heartbreak. The album opens with the most uplifting track, Hurt Me, which is bound to bring you back to your Nintendo-playing days. Ryan’s love of Japanese culture is present in this song with synths that sound like they are straight out of the Yoshi’s Story soundtrack. “Too Long” (with Alex G) could almost serve as Ryan’s response to current “EDM” moving between mellow vocals and piano with pseudo-builds and drops.
Few producers are as effective as Hemsworth when it comes to actually making listeners feel each song. Several tracks change sounds completely and unexpectedly, much like someone’s emotions in the midst of a heartbreak. “By Myself” (with The GTW and little cloud) starts as a ballad and then moves seamlessly between hip hop verses, not a typical blend, but Ryan manages to pull it off. Equally as confused, “Surrounded” (with Kotomi & DOSS) conveys melancholy through its sensual vocals while being backed with woozy synths. “Snow in Newark” served as the first single off the album with the impeccably directed music video matching the beauty of the song. Certain to be a favourite, the chilled out melody pairs perfectly with the soft and sweet vocals of Dawn Golden.
Alone for the First Time is almost impossible to label with a single genre, but could be almost be considered “emo” electronic music, and I mean that in the best way possible. Ryan Hemsworth clearly gets in touch with his emotional side throughout this album and thinks you should too. The result is a beautifully produced album full of low-key happy-sad tracks, keeping in typical Hemsworth fashion.
Alone for the First Time is out November 4th so stock up on Kleenex and prepare to feel feelings. If you’re really in need of a therapy session catch Ryan Hemsworth on his “Sucker for Punishment” tour, which kicks off on November 5th.