Written by: Alex Green
Photo credit: Geoff Tischman
Matthew Ryan took to social media this week to announce the upcoming release of his new record.
Titled Hustle Up Starlings, the album is set to hit shelves May 12. Produced by former Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon, the album was mixed and recorded by Doug Lancio (John Hiatt, Jim Lauderdale) and mastered by Hans DeKline (Ben Lee, Lisa Loeb). The stirring and evocative cover photo is by Jack Spencer.
Of the record, Ryan wrote: “Let me just say what appears to arrive fully formed took hours, days, even years of beautiful and blinding searchlight work by so many. Alone and then collaborative, it’s always a labor of love. I always feel lucky in these moments when finally I get to share “it.” This is just the beginning… Again. I’m very excited. I love the work we’ve done. It’s soon to surface. We invested all the heart, smarts and honest cinema we were capable of. I feel strongly these songs will become great companions.”
Although no music has been revealed yet, in an interview a few years ago with Stereo Embers’ David Porter, the Pennsylvania-born Ryan said of the songwriting process: “I think songs should provoke us to confront the things that daunt us. These things can hang around entire lifetimes, they can oppress. A great song is like a declaration of independence. Songs are amazing melody and words. Melody is the sky and air; words are the sun on your skin. Melody is the gun, songs are the bullets.”
Of the new record, Ryan went on to write on social media: “Thank you for the beautiful response today. There’s a ton coming up. Be patient. Can’t tell you what it means to me that this means something to you. There will be a lot of music, answers and news in the coming weeks. Some surprises, too. So hang in there with me. As always, it’s a small but ambitious operation. Always trying to offer something useful and beautiful and hopefully in a somewhat organized fashion. We have to tell our stories as clearly as possible these days. That’s my goal. So soon…”