This is my friend Ryan Darton.
He sings. He plays guitar and piano and bass and adds new instruments to his repertoire constantly. He writes music. And this summer, he released his first solo album.
My first encounter with the album was "Sing to me Baby." It was the beginning of the summer, and this song seemed to capture exactly how I felt about the coming season--happy, hopeful, and a little vulnerable. Like you are aware that you are reaching for a dream that might not come true. Summers in the northwest can be fleeting, short-lived creatures, and wishing for a beautiful one can lead to minor heartbreak. Like most things in life, really. Ryan Darton has a knack for capturing that feeling in its many incarnations. If Ryan Darton is anything with his songs on "I am a moth," he is true.
Ryan Darton seeks to translate the beauty in all of life's experiences into songs. His care for life is apparent from the intimate opening tune "Summer and Snow" to the the energetic "Living this way."
The result: an approachable album brimming with emotional and musical staying power.
Ryan Darton hooks you with thoughtful lyrics and a variety of catchy tunes. He wins you over with warm vocals and melodies in "Uptight" and "Living this Way." He keeps you close to the speakers with the quiet love song (aren't those the best kind?) "I am a moth" in what might be my favorite moment on the album.
At the end of the album or just the end of your day, if you're not convinced that life is beautiful, just listen to "I am a Moth"'s closing track, Ryan Darton's breathtaking cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love." His rendition begins reverently, but quickly grows into an epic declaration, complete with romantic strings.
I'm listening to "Uptight" yet again and I can hear my kids down the hall. They are singing along. Ryan Darton's album has that effect. The opening song is an invitation, after all. An invitation to listen, do some soul-searching, sing along, and if you feel so inclined, pick up a khim to play along on "Camel's Back."
You can find Ryan Darton's album here, and watch for upcoming live shows. He puts on a great one.
Now enjoy this music video for "Sing to me Baby." It features some of my favorite scenes in LA and feels like eternal summer.