We were lucky enough to have a chat with Rianne about everything from her stunning debut single, to staying positive during lockdown, and what it was like to share a stage with Gerry Cinnamon. The bands that actually got me into music and sparked my love for music is The Specials and Madness. The single is slow yet passionate with an infectiously catchy chorus, it has been very well received by fans and critics alike and has saw her gain support from BBC Scotland, Tenement TV and many more.
June 7, Having since dropped a debut album of the same name, Downey locked in a set of live dates to take Running around Australia. When he landed in Sydney, we sat down for a chat at Young Henrys. So I instead recorded a mini-LP of all acapella songs just layering my own vocalsand so quite a few songs that have made it onto the new album were going to be recorded then.
But since then ideas shifted, new songs came along and things changes. RYAN: Yeah there is a lot of space, but we do play with that space… definitely the band shows are a lot more bombastic, a bigger sound when we choose to. When it gets bigger, it gets bigger than it does on the record.
We try to make it a live experience. Are there strings on stage?
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What made you settle on that word? RYAN: Pretty much all the things you just said! Pretty spot on — just for how loaded it is.
But whilst exploring that, it goes through all kinds of definitions of the word; things running through your head in a positive way, in a negative way, the things that get us motivated, the things we run from… but hopefully focusing on the things that tie things together. As an audience member, to be left the space, to come up with my own meanings or my own feelings, so I definitely try to give the audience that when I write.
RYAN: Yeah! And that as well, I like to be playful. Now I like this question because I always get a different answer so, where do you prefer to do your writing?
RYAN: Hmm. But no, I like to do it anywhere. Songwriting, literature… anything. I used to write short stories, things like that.
Songwriting probably as a teen. I recorded a few things in my teens, then in my early twenties I recorded some stuff but never really did anything with it.
Then I took a break from music for a while and then, maybe six years ago, started writing properly. And I love performing, so it ticks every box. HAPPY: You sort of pre-empted my next question — do you ever fantasise about writing in a different medium? Maybe as a collaboration, maybe not dive in there… seems like a long, lonely journey to write a film then hand it over to other people to make.
I used to never ask people what their songs meant…. HAPPY: …but the conversation is always interesting.
Is being playful something you felt you needed to do, considering the… I guess aesthetic of music that you make? RYAN: Yeah, definitely. I guess I just try to inject… I guess I want an album to be an experience, and so for me an experience involves a whole plethora of emotional stimulus, and I like the idea and the challenge of balancing different ones.
RYAN: I guess more of the same. Not necessarily the same sound, I like to bring new flavours in.
Rianne downey discusses her new single, staying positive during lockdown, and sharing a stage with gerry cinnamon.
Listen to it here. Music Ryan Downey. Copied to clipboard.
Edgecliff rumble the sea and rock the boat at Old Manly Boatshed.