“A minimalistic, electronic dream.” – Nylon
“Vail combines modern classical music and electronic sonics for a sound all his own.” – Stereogum
“Daring and emotionally affecting work that deserves your full attention.” – The Independent
Derry-born artist Ryan Vail blends the worlds of electronica, folk and classical, always experimenting combining classical instruments with unique methods of recording and composition. His debut album ‘For Every Silence’ was released in April of last year to critical and commercial acclaim finding fans across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.
Ryan is returning this September with his brand new single, ‘Shadows’, a blissfully nuanced track with delicate synth and an even softer vocal delivery. His masterful and compelling songwriting retains the ambience of his previous releases though distinct flourishes create a new danceability not quite as evident before. Ryan explains some of the deeper meaning behind it:
“The song deals with my initial personal struggle to become a full-time artist. While I was before in a job that was comfortable, music haunted me at every turn. I’d kept my passion subdued as I was led to believe that its currently impossible to survive as a full-time musician nowadays. The lyrics refer to music as a person. “My love cuts like a knife” refers to the fact that it hurt not to be able to follow my love for music. “Your heart, it holds my life “is the job I couldn’t escape from. As the track progresses I talk of things like “All my life I’ve weighed lies”, the doubts that I had about becoming a full- time musician and surviving. The track ends with me accepting I need to change my life as my “heart don’t feel so good““
Prior to this he released three EPs on Belfast label Champion Sound and a collaborative album with singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery – 'Sea Legs' was released on Quiet Arch and nominated for the 2015 Northern Ireland Music Prize alongside eventual winner SOAK, Duke Special and Tim Wheeler of Ash.
In 2014 he composed the soundtrack for a full-length BBC2 documentary entitled ‘The Longest Night', part of the BBC's True North series. The following year, he composed a solo piano piece for World Piano Day, which was chosen for composer Nils Frahm’s Piano Day playlist on Soundcloud.
‘For Every Silence’ earn Ryan his second Northern Ireland Music Prize nomination as well as radio support from the likes of BBC Radio 1, 6Music and more. He’s had radio play or performed live sessions with Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Tom Ravenscroft, Tom Robinson, Phil Taggart and Other Voices, and he has performed alongside many international live acts, including Nils Frahm, Jamie xx, Jon Hopkins, Tycho, Todd Terje, Luke Vibert and Orbital.