Trophy Wife Starts the Year with Debut Release
The debut album from Fredericton’s Trophy Wife introduces another imaginative artist to the city’s sonic landscape. The aptly titled, Seasonal Fatigue, presents the creative voice of Ryan Hanson as one willing to experiment with melodic direction and boundary.
“Music has revealed itself to me as a way to convey feelings,” said Hanson. “Doing this album and these songs entirely on my own was very important to me because it was a way to convey very intense feelings that went deeper than just writing lyrics.”
This recording presents a pretty wide mix of themes and genres, balancing occasional guitar leads and simple keyboard melodies above a wide palette of electronic and acoustic sounds that bend from singer songwriter nuances to full-blown, electro-pop. But where Hanson really excels on this debut is through his use of simple, poetic lyrics – at times exploring his vocal range and possibility to great effect.
“I wanted to do very specific things with my voice to add to the album esthetically,” said Hanson. “On the track, Eyes Like A Smoking Gun, the lyrics came first. It was developed as kind of a narrative track as opposed to others on the album that grew out of the music.”
Despite displaying a strong vocal character on Seasonal Fatigue, Hanson admits his interested was more focused on production and exploring what kind of sounds he was able to create on his own while writing and recording.
“I wasn’t really thinking about the vocals as much as I was thinking about the album’s production. I started working on the album when I produced the first song, Rows, while still living in my parent’s house,” he said. “It was the summer of 2013. In high school, I found my passion for engineering audio and sound design. Paired with my love for music, I started the Trophy Wife project to make music that was entirely my own. I recorded, produced, mixed and mastered every track. I’m currently an audio student and quite early into the program, so my knowledge is limited but the running theme this year has been ‘make the best music you can with what you have’. That’s what I set out to do.”
While Seasonal Fatigue may lack a cohesive feel running through all eight tracks, it serves as a welcomed introduction to Hanson’s compositions and arrangements and baits interest in things to come.
“I feel like Seasonal Fatigue is a starting point, and I’ll see where it takes me.”
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