Crow Amongst the Sparrows by RYAN WAYNE is a psychedelic alt-folk collection of tracks covering love, responsibility for loss, and growth. It uses layers of guitars, waves of strings, and intimate, raw vocals to build a cohesive sound that tells a story in its own time from start to finish.
Forty Paces To The Bottom begins the album with a strong piece about changing yourself, exemplifying the challenges and pain that can often come from introspection. It introduces us to the varied guitar styles and powerful vocals. This track does a great job of setting the tone for the rest of the album. I specifically like the harmonies in this one. They add a tonne of emotional resonance to the lyrics and help the voice convey the nuances of the track, especially at the top end of his vocal register.
Maybe I’m To Blame follows the first track, coming across like a train of thought. The song builds on the theme of self-reflection seen in the previous track. The emotion conveyed in the phrase “maybe I’m to blame” feels like our singer can’t even fully commit to blaming themselves, with the word “maybe” lingering over that self-realisation. There’s a real anger in the vocals of this one and I think that frustration with your past mistakes is brilliantly explored through the delivery.
Bonafide Drifter feels like it changes the vibe of the album, with more of a slow and appreciative energy. The lead guitar has a psychedelic reverberation that feels like audio trails following every note on this musical trip. I like that the connection with nature is explored with the references to the sky and the trees. Although the album is not generally fast-paced, this track slows it down even more, allowing for a breath in the pace of the album as a whole.
The album ends with the track I Will Always Be Here For You, a great conclusion to the storyline explored throughout. To me, it says that despite all the introspection and change, the speaker has found solace in the love he still has for his partner. The use of harmony in this song also feels particularly meaningful as if the feeling is reciprocated between the pair. The guitar is soulful, capturing the melancholy of the moment with delicate strumming. All in all, it feels like a satisfying and thematically cohesive way of ending the album.
I appreciate the storyline of this one and together with the excellent instrumental work, it makes me excited to see what Ryan Wayne does next.