‘I could write a song to you so sweet, it’d raise you to your feet and you’d come running...’
Cruising above a hazy, heady drift, these may be the first words you hear from Ryan Downey. Teased out by his mesmeric baritone, they open his debut album Running like a time-lapse flower, revealing an artist uniquely capable of balancing cheek and sincerity, classicism and swagger and grandeur and restraint all within a single, composed breath.
Whether it’s sorrow with satisfaction or earnestness with innuendo, parallels continuously meet and entwine throughout Running's signature blend of rock, pop and folk. Like all polar opposites, the combination of these forces results in a magnetic tension.
Ryan carries this exquisite tension from the studio to the stage, bringing an arresting physicality to his live performances. He’s won the hearts of audiences worldwide following sold out headline shows in 2018, a UK/EU tour supporting Marlon Williams, a national tour with Sarah Blasko, opening for Julia Jacklin, Luluc and performing at Falls Festival, MONA, BigSound and more.
After two EPs, Running sees Ryan finally able to stretch his legs fully. Finding the perfect collaborator in producer Steve Hassett (of Luluc), the 10 songs were recorded across New York and Melbourne in early 2017 and released via Barely Dressed Records in April 2018. In September, the art-folk artist followed up the acclaimed album release with the dynamic new stand-alone single ‘No More Miracles’. He was also award the 2018 Upstart Award and ‘Running’ has just been long-listed for the 2018 Australian Music Prize. This May, Ryan will be undertaking a national tour supporting acclaimed New Zealand artist Tiny Ruins.
Ryan Downey’s songs magnificently capture and illuminate an artist set to ignite, break and comfort hearts, potentially all at the same time.
"Downey's seductive baritone can melt steel beams, so it will turn your knees to butter, guaranteed - ★★★★1/2" - The Music
"Ryan Downey plays by his own rules on 'Running' - a completely compelling debut." - Happy Mag
“Terrifyingly beautiful...Downey has a soul, serenity and talent with which few are born. This is artfolk at its best.” - The Daily Indie, NL
“A voice that will not be compared to any other…Ryan Downey is our new addiction” - Rocknfool, France
"In case it wasn't public knowledge yet let me make it clear; this dude's got one of the best voices in the country." - Dave Ruby Howe, Triple J Unearthed
“Melbourne musician Ryan Downey’s debut LP Running could be one of the most unique sounding records this year. Downey doesn’t seek to emulate any particular musical genre, rather blending pop, rock and folk elements to create a unique style of his own.” - Beat
"There aren't very many artists who defy expectation, but Ryan Downey is one of those people" - Henry Wagons, Double J
“Delicately controlled so as to never detract from that rich, honeyed baritone.” - Tone Deaf
"One of Australia's most exciting new singers" - Broadsheet
"Old-fashioned yet contemporary, solemn yet humorous, Ryan Downey alludes classification. But what we do know, if that he's one of the finest singer-songwriters we've heard in a while." - Happy Mag
"The Voice of Bigsound 2016" - The Music
"An incredibly deep and rich voice that draws comparisons to those of Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave...a serious and sombre presence with a wry delivery, Downey’s songs are finely crafted and nuanced works of art. An intriguing talent to keep an eye on." - Xpress Magazine
"Ryan Downey brought his impossibly lush vocals to life with tracks like Techno Dolls, Running and Renewed. The resonance of his baritone is so unusually rich it's hypnotic." - Amnplify
"A live performance that leaves you lost for words". - Tonedeaf