ALBUM REVIEW: Ryan Keen – ‘Room For Light’

Devon folk singer/songwriter Ryan Keen just released his début album, Room For Light, two weeks ago, to coincide with it’s release he’s currently out on tour. The tour runs throughout October heading all over the UK, so be sure to head down to see him when he’s in your area, all the links for Ryan can be found below, so have gander at them for more info.

Room For Light features an array of beautifully composed and emotionally rich masterpieces, that will no doubt sweep you up in a summery/autumnal haze. The hard graft that he has put in over the years, nurturing and honing his craft has definitely paid off, he has toured with all the best singer/songwriters around including Lucy RoseBen HowardNewton Faulkner and his good friend, Ed Sheeran to name a few, he’s played some of the biggest festivals around, he’s popular with Radio 1 DJ’s Fearne Cotton and Zane Lowe. All this has led him up to this moment, where he has finally been able to release his long-awaited début LP and also go out on a headline tour across the UK.

Track four, Orelia, really stands out to me the most. It takes a very different stance than the previous tracks, with a driving guitar melody that paints a picture in your mind, very much like that of Ben Howard’s Old Pine, featuring a warm vocal from Keen, that connects deeply with the listener. A really lovely track. 

As Ryan himself says “My songs can be introspective, I came to this from a pretty dark place, with my mate dying. That hit me pretty hard. But I always try to write with optimism.” which is a key theme that encompasses all of the songs. In particularly, See Me Now, from time to time he thinks of his former love and he wishes he could change the way things ended as he still have some feelings for her. It’s a plea for a change in the way his former love see’s him, it’s a delicate, open hearted letter to her. Even though, she broke his heart, he still can’t move on, but he wants to show her that despite what she did, he’s stronger for it and it’s made him a better person because of it. 

Latest single, Old Scars is a song about wanting to move on after the end of a relationship but the difficulties of doing so. A soft, melodic comforting acoustic ensemble that is like a warm hug in the rain, refreshing but also the want for shelter and the comfort of clarity. Track seven, Trouble, takes a very different approach, it’s bluesy rhythm simmers underneath Keen’s fiery vocal, a song that picks up the pace and runs with it. It’s a song that’s seeped in Americana and will firmly place you in a bar somewhere in New Orleans.

Overall, a very eclectic collection of acoustic strummings, heavenly stings, warm electronics and rich vocals, combined with intensely intimate and personal lyrics. It’s an album that is full of texture and feeling, that will have you captivated while you listen. This is an album that you don’t want to miss,

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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