Connect with us

Music

Unknown Album Review: Serena Ryder ‘Harmony’

A soul-filled, bluesy folk gem.

Brianna Vacca

Published

on

As part of CMN’s ongoing Music Journalism Course, participants were asked to find a physical copy of an album by an artist they had never heard of. The challenge was to listen and react to the recording without any prior knowledge. 

When browsing through a record store’s inventory, the options feel endless. Unless an artist is recognizable, there’s no telling how you’ll perceive the record. There’s no way to determine how intriguing, or not, it may be.

Nothing but the cardboard tab citing its genre. 

When presented with the assignment of selecting and purchasing a record unknown to me, I encountered Serena Ryder’s Harmony. Instantly the album art caught my eye. The cover has a Brandi Carlile Americana essence, with a hint of country-western. The use of hieroglyphics is unique and each track listing has its own.

“What I Wouldn’t Do” opens up the album with a memorable chant and cliche lyrics over luminous, feel-good instrumentation. “Stompa,” the album’s most proclaimed cut, also demonstrates that sensation. “Fall” constitutes keys that resemble a Christmassy sound in the intro and interludes. 

“Please, Baby Please” is a standout. Based on the title of the track, I assumed that it would be a pleading battle, begging for somebody or something.  Ryder sings about hardships of relationships and heartbreak, while a complimentary male vocal counterpoint brings out its raw originality.

“Call Me” is a piano-heavy ballad, while “Mary Go Round,” “Please,” and “Heavy Love” hold organic, valiant aesthetics. 

After running through Harmony a few times, I did some research to learn about Ryder’s past discography and biography.

She grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is generally considered folk rock. “Weak in the Knees” and “Stompa” are Ryder’s claims to fame, the latter a top 10 hit in Canada.

Harmony is Serena Ryder’s sixth studio album and was released in 2013. Ryder’s audience primarily resides in Canada, where her albums have reached gold and platinum statutes and have collected Juno awards.

This soul-filled blusey folk aesthetic is right up my alley and I am glad that my instincts guided me to this gem. 

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Brianna is a sophomore at the University of the Arts studying Music Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology and Creative Writing as a minor. She is a Grammy U Campus Ambassador at the Recording Academy, VIP Ambassador at CID Entertainment and a Promotions Assistant at Townsquare Media. She has a passion for the Music Industry, Entertainment, Radio, Writing, and being an active Singer|Songwriter.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Government2 weeks ago

New Year, New Laws for 2019

New year means new laws.

by , The Catholic American University
Equality3 weeks ago

Nancy Pelosi Elected Speaker of the House

Democrats continued to control the House on Thursday by electing Nancy Pelosi who returned to be the first woman to...

by , Mercy College
Government3 weeks ago

The House to Approve Legislation of Reopening of the Government

Late Thursday night, the new Democratic House passed bills that would reopen the government without paying for Trump’s border wall....

by , Mercy College
Government3 weeks ago

Elizabeth Warren Announces She is Running for President in 2020

On New Years Eve, Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D) Massachusetts, announced that she will become a candidate to enter the 2020...

by , Mercy College
Government4 weeks ago

Senator Elizabeth Warren Wants to Create a Public Option for Generic Drugs

The Massachusetts senator wants to take on big pharma.

by , The Catholic American University
Art1 month ago

Movie Review: Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’

The Mexican director's latest reflects the modern state of the human experience.

by , The Catholic American University
Environment1 month ago

California Mandates All New Public Transit Buses Go Electric by 2029

The Golden State wants their buses more greener on the roads.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 month ago

New York Governor Cuomo Pushes for Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in 2019

Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will be pushing to legalize recreational marijuana in 2019, according to...

by , Mercy College

Top Reads