Ryan Helman is a British born singer-songwriter, from Harrow .He is widely known for his distinct late 70s guitar sounding music. With influences from The Beatles, The Kinks, Four Seasons, Chas n Dave, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, and Sum 41 his music is in the rock and Indie genre. Ryan has already released 3 solo albums – “Mistakes Included”, “That’s The Girl” and “On The Prowl” as well as 5 singles.
Ryan is currently working on a new album with some old friends from a band he was in in 1979 called Custom – hence the title of the upcoming album, “Custom79”. We recently listened to “Bowl Of Something”, one of the singles from the forthcoming album. Ryan Helman bursts onto the scene with his tongue-in-cheek, take it with a grain of salt retro rock style. Ryan embraces the old-school rock n’ roll influences – meaning lots of melody and clever lyrics – and turns them into completely original and, well, entertaining modern compositions.
Probably inspired by Thin Lizzy twin-guitar sound and the pop melodics of the Kinks, “Bowl Of Something”, is out to set the tone for the new album – with a breezing, fast-moving piece that never lets you down for one minute. In fact I kept thinking that if Thin Lizzy had done mainstream pop with a different vocalist, it would probably have sounded something like this. The songwriting is great; Ryan’s vocals are crisp and spot on; everything is tight, polished, and professional.
“Bowl Of Something” has a nice little rock groove going on while the chorus has some good harmony work, but best of all are those truly beautiful double guitar sounding lines. This is something you don’t hear in modern rock, almost at all anymore, and it just gives the song that layered, edgy harmonious twist, to lift it out of the pop doldrums and into something a bit more special.
While it’s true that comparisons to landmark sixties and seventies groups have been doled out liberally over the years, very few groups have come as close as Ryan Helman to sounding like their direct musical descendants. His music is unforced and its core sound is authentically embedded in those eras. It’s in the melody, the harmony and even the chord progressions. That doesn’t make it irrelevant in the modern era; on the contrary, it makes his music endearingly different. Add the Brit tongue-in-cheek lyrics and the knack for catchy pop hooks, and you have an easy listening blend that is hard to resist for most ears of differing generations.