Ryan Martin’s sophomore record, Gimme Some Light, is the sound of catharsis and renewal, loss and reinvention. It is a living jukebox, full of vivid, deeply personal songs that span considerable emotional and sonic terrain. Drawing from the same well of timeless American music that informs artists like Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Gillian Welch and Bruce Springsteen, Martin’s themes can get dark – self-doubt, longing, heartbreak, addiction – but the music is full of bold melodies, energy, humor and hope.
Recorded at The Art Farm (Felice Brothers, Nels Cline) in Upstate New York, Gimme Some Light goes deep and wide into Martin’s songbook. From the dark and twangy Americana of ‘Death of Love’ to the driving R.E.M.-ish jangle of ’Say You Love Me’, the modern rock exaltation of ‘Lepers In Armor,’ to the timeless fragility of ‘Real Human Being’; these are classic songs luminous with imagery and feeling.
Originally from Los Gatos, California, Martin started writing songs when he was 14 and was soon playing in bands and doing solo gigs up and down the West Coast. After a traumatic car accident in 2005, life took a dark turn and Martin found himself bouncing between jail and treatment. Realizing he needed a fresh start in order to turn his focus back to his music, he made his way to New York City. He soon found a band, and an audience, and recorded his excellent debut album, For All the Beautiful Losers. After gigging around NYC, touring all over the United States, engaging new fans, and becoming a father, Martin felt he was ready to make a record that reflected a new sense of hope and purpose.
Gimme Some Light comes out tomorrow via High Moon Records. The first single, ‘Death of Love’, was released in April, with a beautifully-shot video that blends French New Wave cinema with a classic Americana vibe.
Martin will tour the U.S. throughout 2018, staring with an album release party tonight at Sid’s Gold in New York.