Matthew Ryan – Hustle Up Starlings
"Hustle Up Starlings is not only Ryan’s best work ever, but it’s likely in contention for album of the year"
– Mike Marrone Sirius/XM
"Absolutely majestic stuff. One of the best things I’ve heard in ages"
– Roddy Hart BBC Scotland
"Ryan crafted what is assuredly his most poetic, gnawing and adventurous album of his career"
"Hustle Up Starlings deftly fuses gritty Replacements-style rock and post-punk with moody Americana, all tied together by Ryan’s gravelly whisper vocals"
– New Noise Magazine
"Always count on Matthew Ryan to come in quietly and leave you knocked out on the floor"
– Paste Magazine
Matthew Ryan is experiencing a kind of noisy renaissance. It began in 2014 with the release of Boxers, a fevered and smart rock ‘n’ roll record about the working class, produced by Kevin Salem. May 2017 will see the follow-through with Hustle Up Starlings, a heart-on-the-sleeve collection of silvery anthems that further illustrate Ryan’s reinvigorated love of language, noise and cinema.
Produced by Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem, Starlings shimmers with an immediate and captivating focus. The 10-song set clocks in at 40 minutes with no prevarication or bluster, just a celebratory noise alight with hearts and history, broken-in voices and poetry.
Matthew Ryan grew up in Chester, Pennsylvania just south of Philly, and spent his teens in Newark, Delaware. In his early 20s, he moved to Nashville, where he was first signed to A&M Records, releasing May Day (1997) and East Autumn Grin (2000) before falling prey to the titanic label mergers of the early aughts.
What followed was more or less an album a year by any and all means possible until 2012’s In The Dusk of Everything. After moving to Western Pennsylvania in 2011, Ryan quietly decided that he’d had enough. Dusk would be his last album. "Music had become too lonely," he said. But soon after that declaration, a sudden friendship with the frontman from The Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon, reignited something in Ryan. Fallon invited him out on some tour dates, and after performing a version of Ryan’s "I Can’t Steal You" (off of 2003’s Regret Over The Wires) together in New York City, the two decided they’d like to work together one day. Fallon just wanted to play guitar, but Ryan suspected he’d found a producer.
Hustle Up Starlings was recorded last summer in Nashville at Doug Lancio’s place on the East Side. Ryan assembled the cast because they all shared a common ethos and similar roots — The Clash, The Replacements, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, The Cure, The Jam… Each of them hard working lovers of pop music with a black eye, a brain and soul.
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