Ryan Downey is emerging as one of Australian indie music's most unique voices.
Recently returning from a raved-about performance at BIGSOUND - where he was declared 'The Voice of BIGSOUND 2016' by The Music - Ryan has just rounded up an exciting year, which included an album release, his first national tour and appearances at St Kilda Festival and Falls Festival.
His self-recorded, self-produced all-vocal mini LP ‘Me & Her’ was mixed by Anna Laverty (Nick Cave, Meg Mac) and released in March 2016. Led by the single ‘Tidings’ and praised as “a jaw-dropping set of gorgeously constructed voice work”, the broken-arm-induced record is turning heads for it’s originality and diversity - “It’s easy, listening to the seven tracks, to forget why anybody bothers with instruments in the first place” (The Music).
The album includes 2 originals and 5 reinterpretations of songs by female songwriters with a surprising favourite - an upbeat and emotionally stirring Enya cover: “Ryan, in all his incredible insanity...has given it a charming twist and turned it into a real song” (Henry Wagons, Double J).
Listeners were first introduced to Downey’s music back in 2013 through his debut EP ‘Familiar Ground’ (released under his previous moniker Venice Music). The EP was driven by unofficial single and audience favourite 'The One' - an impressive six minute folk suite that builds to a pseudo-symphonic onslaught, described by Mess + Noise as “haunting, with such darkened weight that we’re drawn immediately in”.
Labelled “a true treasure of Melbourne” with “a live performance that leaves you lost for words” (Tonedeaf), Ryan’s onstage presence is one of unassuming confidence and charm. His deep and docile voice gets straight to the point - it’s the anchor that permits his songs to explore a spectrum of emotional and stylistic possibilities without risk of disorientation.
Ryan is currently recording his debut full-length album.