Dropping his debut single, “Glass,” L.A. based musician Riley Sieverts, using the moniker Rilo Wye for his new indie project, touches on a very specific brand of disconnected loneliness — the kind drummed up by the incessant gnawing of longing further exasperated by time spent in solitude.
Although the lyrics are conventionally melancholy, there is still a warmth to ”Glass.” It’s a song about not having what you need, but even in its loneliness, there is something inviting and familiar about its tone.
“Glass is about being lonely and wanting more,” Wye notes. “Staring through a glass window or a glass phone screen or a beverage glass, daydreaming and trying to predict your future. Hoping the next encounter will be something better than the last. This song was one of the first I fully recorded and produced from my home studio in Los Angeles.”
With dreamy instrumentals and vocals soaked in an aloof, loftiness, ”Glass” meanders along without care or direction, but not without a convicted sense of heartfelt yearning. Feeling trapped behind a seemingly invisible barrier, Rilo Wye knows there is something just on the other side, but he can’t quite get to it. While there is some angst in what he’s feeling, Wye focuses more on the abstract nature of desire, hoping that things will change rather than getting stuck in what he’s currently experiencing. He knows there’s a disturbance in the force, but can still see through the glass to see what may be in store for him.
Laced with psychedelic and indie-rock murmurs, Rye’s debut single is tinged with lush undertones that harbor an open, analog sound; influenced by a convergence of classic leaning instrumentals and production and inspiration from musicians of the past, from Lou Reed to Sister Nancy. Further shaped by Rye’s own perspective, the tune manifests into something completely his own.
“I’m a sucker for 70s-era studio production— that feel-good simplicity, the natural shimmer of real instruments and analog gear,” he notes.
Taking influence from his tropical upbringing, growing up in Honolulu, Wye’s musical center relies on a steady downpour or real instrumentation that encompasses a natural warmth. Utilizing his life experiences — from playing in reggae bands in his youth, his love of surfing and exposure to music (reggae and surfer/punk) that cultivates a laid back atmosphere — Rilo Wye channels these passions and expressions of joy as a means to shape his music; the traces of which can be heard and felt in all of his songs.
”Surfing was my first passion,” Rye Wye notes. “As a kid I spent hours watching old surf videos, and that vibe hovers in the background of every track I make.”
In addition to dropping his first single, Rilo Wye is expecting to release his first EP soon.
Words: Patti Sanchez
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