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Thirteen by William Ryan Key (The Lone Tree Recordings)

Thirteen by William Ryan Key (The Lone Tree Recordings)

William Ryan Key has toured the world with Yellowcard, from their humble beginnings in 1999 up until their final performances late last year.  Now travelling on a grand and intimate journey as an acoustic solo artist, Key has presented his own personal testament of lyrical wisdom and melodic bliss entitled Thirteen.

A sweepingly introspective commencement featuring Key tackling the singer / songwriter genre with style and flair, Thirteen will surely enrapture longtime Yellowcard devotees.   Fans of Elliott Smith and Dashboard Confessional are also destined to find a whole lot to be over the moon about within the rapturous entreaties of the reflective Thirteen.

Thirteen opens with the heartfelt recollections of Old Friends, launching the EP on an autobiographical note that longtime Yellowcard fans will recognize and appreciate.  “And all those birthdays when I just forgot to call, I’m sitting on a mountain of guilt that I finally started chipping away,” Key muses while looking homeward to a hopeful and comforting future.  The Vultures then arrive onto the acoustic landscape, where the “truth is a potion that you can’t keep down” lyrical content reverberates with a cathartic sense of liberation.

(Photo credit: Ryan Mendez)

“Someone’s always haunting my houseKey deliberates on the pensive Form And Figure, presenting a track that is sure to captivate the listener with its sleepless, melancholic refrains.  Thirty Days is up next, with Key contemplating the passage of time with insightful lyrics merging upon a lush and haunting soundscape.  And then closing out the Thirteen experience is a trip into the throes of the Great Unknown, with Key accepting the crossroads of the past, and looking ahead with a serene yet cautious optimism.

With Thirteen, William Ryan Key initiates a new direction in an already brilliant and inspiring career.  The EP is skillfully co-produced and mixed by Arun Bali of Saves the Day – an vibrant meeting of the minds to be sure!  William Ryan Key is now on tour, opening for as well as playing guitar with, the one and only New Found Glory!  Judging by the auditory treasures heard within Thirteen, it will be exciting to see what the future has in store for the next chapter of William Ryan Key’s artistic odyssey.  Stay tuned!

(Review by Ken Morton)

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