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Ryan Fisherman - Album Review: Country EMO

13 Oct 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
When initially asked if I could do a review of this album, to be perfectly honest I’d never heard of Ryan Fisherman. But having had its silky charms beguiling my ears for the past few weeks, his is definitely a name I want to hear more from!


The appeal Ryan's album Country EMO is instant-my first listen was against the backdrop of political polling results suggesting a future Aotearoa New Zealand (sorry, can’t trigger the racists...) with a distinct resemblance to a version of Gilead run by an ex-CEO and his incel son, with racist old uncle trying to join in the fun! But in any case, I was feeling pretty low when I went for a walk and gave the album a spin. From the first note I was uplifted, such is the joyful power of this music, perhaps belying its title. But hey, happy is an emotion too, right?

Opener I’m Fine kicks off with a charmingly off-key riff, matching its lyrical content (“I said that I’m fine, clearly I am blind”) and underpinned with gloriously dirty percussion. At 1:36 in length, it’s short and sweet, fading out long before there’s any danger of outstanding its welcome. Second track End continues in similar vein (although clocking in at a comparatively relaxed 2:59), sounding something like a younger brother of Delaney Davidson, who’s discovered psychedelia.

But it’s on the fourth track Expanded, that things really bust out into pure joy, with its lo-fi psychedelic sound drenching in a flood of sunshine, perfect for this time of year, with its tantalising prospect of a glorious summer to come (hopefully not one that boils us all inside our skin!).

Without getting down to a track-by- track analysis, though, because no-one’s got time for that, let me just give another indicator, by stating that the overall feel calls to mind, in its lo-fi charm, another Otautahi delight, Pickle Darling. Not so much in sound, more the feeling that here’s someone who just enjoys making their glorious sounds and sharing them with us. And a similar way of making it all sound so easy, organic even (although it’s obvious that a lot of work has gone in to it-much like the cliche of it taking a lot of work to make it look this easy!)

The bottom line here though, I say with one eye on my expired publication deadline, is that this is a truly glorious album, one that deserves a lot more attention than it’ll probably realistically get in the fractured music scene (and one that I’ve run out of time to do true justice to)-but those that do discover it will find themselves taking it to their heart, playing it repeatedly and trying to evangelise others in to listening. That’s the sort of evangelism I can get behind, rather than the Christo-fascist variety being promoted by a failed deodorant salesman!

In the period since first listen, the collective psyche seems to have somewhat corrected itself, suggesting that maybe we’re not as willing to poke ourselves, and those more vulnerable than ourselves, in the eyes with sharp sticks for the sake of “change”. So, while this has been spinning, I’ve been feeling better on a number of fronts-have a listen, it could well do the same for you! Go on!

 

About Ryan Fisherman

Ryan Fisherman is "Chiwi" born musician from Christchurch, New Zealand.

As an advocate of Kiwi music Ryan has performed with many local bands such as Doprah, Nakey, Fran/Bar Group, Fraser Ross, Blair Parkes, Sand Fly Bay, Rickshaw, Golden Orange, Sister Something, Sabine Wojnar & Asian Tang.

Originally a drummer, Ryan decided to learn various instruments to help hone his skill as a song writer & musician. He records most of his music from home which is available via Bandcamp & Spotify.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Ryan Fisherman

Releases

Country EMO
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Vibe
Year: 2020
Type: Album

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