Lay here and listen to the sound of a soul laid bare in song. This is Thisell - a singer, songwriter, traveler, father, partner, son.
Supported by a cast of talented friends, Thisell's music invites the listener on a sweeping journey through cinematic soundscapes, where elements of traditional Swedish folk songs echo in an atmosphere of dark Americana. This is music that transcends time and cultures, revealing the human experience through layers of sound, thought and feeling. The lyrics give form to Thisell's inner life through observations of the outer world, outlining tiny moments with large brushstrokes, which the band sympathetically illustrates in lush color.
This collection builds upon Thisell's debut, featuring material that was road tested over six tours of Europe with as many different ensembles. The musicians assembled here recall players from those tours as well as the first album and in this lineup they present the songs in their most realized forms to date.
Through these arrangements, Thisell and his band ride a wave of inspiration, dynamically shifting in tone and volume from song to song with a textural, ethereal pairing of acoustic and electric instruments that seamlessly blends accordion, violin, upright bass, piano and exquisite vocal harmonies with distorted electric guitar, synthesizer and drums. From the romantic old world nostalgia of "The World's Last Cigarette" to the insistent rhythms and heavy riffing of "Will You Have Me," through the haunting, poetic drama of "The Sun Sets in the Weeds," the players cover wide emotional ground, and the instruments are treated with ample amounts of tremelo and reverb, making the sound both classic and contemporary. At the center of it all lies Thisell's tender vocal, which at it's most vulnerable reveals the complex and contradictory nature of human emotion. In "If I Sing my Song," he softly proclaims "I won't let this world break my back," sounding at once gentle and defiant, further traversing the line between quiet and loud, old and new, the inner and outer worlds. Together the voice, music and lyrics all unite to create a beautiful feeling that couldn't come from any other group.
Ultimately, the music is it's own best advocate. Let it speak for itself. Lay here and listen. Breathe in the sounds of love, longing and connection. In a world that grows louder by the day, Thisell's music is a place of refuge, sanctuary, retreat. It is made to nourish the soul. As the singer suggests - "let the song in." Do so and you'll see the heart of a man, reflecting your own.
Liner notes for "II" by Ryan Lee Crosby:
1. The Sun Sets In The Weeds
2. If I Sing My Song
3. The Worlds Last Cigarette
4. Will You Have Me?
5. Born To Know
6. Amounts To You
7. Untitled #5
8. I Know It Is True, My Love For You
9. It Happened To You
10. Black Bird
On CD, LP and download
Release date: 16th* and 30th** of September
* in the Nordic Countries, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxenburg and Italy on Rootsy Music.
** in Switerland, Germany and Austria on JellyFant Records.
Listen to "If I Sing My Song" from "II" here: bit.ly/2baE191