To me, the best Matthew Ryan songs are the ones where you’re left feeling exposed, like he’s written something about you, something secret. Ryan is one of my favorite songwriters because of songs like “3rd of October,” “Your Museum,” and “It Could’ve Been Worse” – songs that are courageous because they tell the truth, even if it means admitting a mistake or two. And that’s okay in Ryan’s world; mistakes are what make us human.
Ryan’s last album, Dear Lover, has been on my mind lately. There are ghosts in that album, and there is a hint of regret. There’s a sense of urgency to say what you need to say before it’s taken away from you. It’s a little like autumn, the season before everything freezes up and dies, with hope, of course, of starting all over again.
Yes, revival is important to Matthew Ryan. Please enjoy his 10 to Spin picks below.
The Autumn Playlist
My first thought when asked to do this was that my favorite time of year is nearly here. My favorite music almost always has an autumnal feel to it. So I’ll offer you the perfect collection for that new brisk air that’s on its way in. Perfect for deep browns and reds, sharp gloamings and those crisp stars in those bluish black nights. Generally, these songs will be even more immersive in a car with a blur of rustling leaves floating around. This really is an abbreviated list just off the top of my head, and in no particular order. – Matthew Ryan
While Thinking About Her Again (from The Cinema Paradiso Soundtrack) by Ennio Morricone – This piece always moves me.
Bob Dylan’s Dream by Bob Dylan – As I go further into life this song means more and more to me.[listen]
Amnesia by Kevin Salem – Holy rock song, Batman! I’ve met Kevin a few times, he’s a great guy. Soma City influenced me quite a bit when I was making May Day.
Take This Waltz by Leonard Cohen – He’s 1000 floors above me in the tower of song.
Wake Up by Arcade Fire – Great anthem.
Love To Be Loved by Peter Gabriel – Just love how this track moves. Really cinematic and honest stuff.
Miss Sarajevo by U2 – One of my favorite songs ever and Pavarotti to boot.
Essence by Lucinda Williams – Just a pure song that feels like autumn lust to me. [listen]
Take It With Me by Tom Waits – Such a great song, romantic in such an honest way.
Darklands by The Jesus And Mary Chain – Will always remind me of the autumn in the 80s when I discovered this record. [listen]