Acclaimed Irish poet Seamus Heaney once said that, "great music, is the music of what happens." It´s fitting to start there while discussing Matthew Ryan´s new record and band, Matthew Ryan Vs The Silver State ( MRVSS ). Seamus Heaney is one of Ryan´s favorite poets. But more than that, it perfectly describes what is increasingly clear in Ryan´s work, he has no desire to con or posture, but to communicate with honest poetry the story of iconic dreamers that may be embattled by all the classic themes of living and literature, but continue to fight to define their own futures.
After the events that informed Ryan´s 2006 release, From A Late Night High Rise (his brother was sentenced to 30 years in prison and he lost a very close friend to cancer), his music has turned an important corner. "Living a year like that, you kinda get winded, because you´re confronted with how things can change. But once you come to terms and you gather yourself back in, well, I found myself invigorated by a sense of time. I guess I just want to make it mean something. I always did, but even more so now. You know? Work, living, happiness," Ryan said, while sitting at his kitchen table. Listening to MRVSS , it´s hard not to notice the visceral, fully engaged spirit of the songs and performances. Gone is the almost "just the facts, ma´am" delivery of some of his previous releases. MRVSS is the sound of a brilliant writer and a careening band fusing the passion, indignation, hopes and struggles of its characters with intimacy and an explosive, anthemic cinema. Utterly human and wide-awake, it´s music that feels like a Scorsese film for the ears.