The Black Ryder are a LA duo by way of Sydney, Australia that craft a beautiful but dark almost folky take on shoegaze.  Multi-instrumentalist Aimee Nash and Scott Van Ryper formed The Black Ryder back in 2007 after both departed former band, The Morning After.  The pair have worked closely with several indie-rock heavyweights, including members of Brian Jonestown Massacre and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Their 2010 debut album Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride received positive acclaim and was included in Rolling Stone Australia’s 50 best albums. The pair moved to LA and took time to self-produce their fantastic sophomore Album – The Door Behind the Door.

The new album combines the shoegaze of their first album with some more expansive, ethereal rock. The result is Phantogram meets My Bloody Valentine. The broader sound is evident in the beautiful sultry “Babylon”. It is a short, sweet, and dark track to kick things off. A couple more songs in is the monstrous “The Going up Was Worth the Coming Down”. This song has it all: the soft build, Ryper’s vocals and Nash’s harmonies that build to a fantastic final minute of instrumentation and distortion.

“Let Me Be Your Light” is one of the album’s highlights and one of the best tracks of the year. Nash delivers the haunting, hushed vocals over immaculate production that allows all the musical swells to be not only heard but felt. Like several tracks, this song builds with vocals kicking in after almost a full minute of music. The Black Ryder take their time and let their music unfold, much to the delight of the listener. The approach does not make the music any less accessible. This track is immediately captivating and is able to evoke the same emotions as classic from bands like Beach House or Lower Dens.

There is plenty of diversity throughout the album. “Throwing Stones” starts out with acoustic strumming and then builds to a more Americana-soul ballad that harkens to early era The Black Crowes. The whispery voice remains at the start of the song but later explodes into the almost gospel refrain of “Let your love Shine on / If you want to be free”.  The Album closes on the epic, twelve-minute long “(le Derneir Sommeil) The Final Sleep”. This sprawling instrumental that is feels perfect for watching a sunset in a wide open space. It is equally perfect for closing out this fine album.

The Door Behind the Door is available now and can purchased on iTunes and Amazon.

Facebook – The Black Ryder
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Twitter – @theblackryder

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