|Serena Ryder — Harmony [Limited Edition] (2013)|
Serena Ryder — Harmony [Limited Edition]
• Canadian singer/songwriter who emerged in the 2000s with dark Beatlesque leanings.
Born: December 8, 1983 in Millbrook, Ontario, Canada
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Album release: November 27, 2012 in Canada/August 27, 2013 (USA)
Record Label: Capitol Records/Universal Music Group
Duration: 35:11 + 13:32 => 48:43
01. What I Wouldn’t Do (French Version) 3:42
02. Fall 3:30
03. Call Me 3:36
04. Baby Come Back 4:47
05. Please Baby Please 4:37
06. For You 4:05
07. Heavy Love 3:20
08. Stompa (French Version) 3:12
09. Mary Go Round 3:29
10. Nobody But You 0:52
11. Circle Of The Sun 3:03
12. Hey There 3:07
13. Stompa (English Version) 3:40
14. What I Wouldn’t Do (English Version) 3:42
℗ 2013 Serenader Source Inc. Under exclusive license to Universal Music Canada Inc.
≈ SERENA WORKED WITH TWO PRODUCERS ON THIS ALBUM — EMMY/GRAMMY NOMINATED PRODUCER/SONGWRITER/MUSICIAN JERROD BETTIS (GAVIN DEGRAW, BETTER THAN EZRA) AND PRODUCER/SONGWRITER/MUSICIAN JON LEVINE (K’NAAN, NELLY FURTADO). SERENA, JERROD AND JON PLAY MOST OF THE INSTRUMENTS ON THE ALBUM. BY RECORDING MUCH OF HARMONY AT HER OWN HOME STUDIO THE COTTAGE, THE ESSENCE OF THE SONGS WERE ABLE TO PROPERLY FLOURISH. THEY ALSO RECORDED AT GUEST HOUSE STUDIOS IN LOS ANGELES AND SYNAGOGUE IN HOLLYWOOD, BEFORE THE ALBUM WAS MIXED BY JOE ZOOK (MODEST MOUSE, KATY PERRY). FIRST SINGLE “STOMPA” HAD ITS WORLD PREMIERE ON CBC RADIO Q AND WAS WRITTEN BY SERENA AND JERROD AND PRODUCED BY JERROD.
≈ Alisha Bauer Cello
≈ Jerrod Bettis Bass, Composer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Programming, Vocals (Background)
≈ Eric Boulanger Mastering
≈ Dan Burns Composer
≈ Jeff Coplan Composer
≈ Andrew Duckles Viola
≈ Rachelle Dupéré Artistic Director, Design
≈ Brad Haenhel Engineer
≈ Aidan Hawken Composer, Vocals (Background)
≈ Screamin' Jay Hawkins Composer
≈ Fraser Hill A&R
≈ Meghan Kabir Composer
≈ Evan Kaminsky Design
≈ Brent Kutzle Strings
≈ Ana Laundaur Violin
≈ Jon Levine Bass, Composer, Engineer, Keyboards, Musician, Producer, Programming, String Engineer
≈ Ryan Lipman Assistant
≈ Raine Munro-Wozniak A&R
≈ Sandy Pandya Management
≈ Mary Rozzi Photography
≈ Serena Ryder Composer, Guitar, Primary Artist, Vocals
≈ Rob Simonsen String Arrangements
≈ Joe Zook Additional Production, Mixing
Album Moods: Earnest Reflective Autumnal Fun Self-Conscious Rousing Yearning Freewheeling Melancholy Searching
Themes: Hanging Out Girls Night Out Day Driving
Contemporaries: Toby Lightman, Mozella, Jann Arden, Grace Potter, Basia Bulat
Review by Matt Collar; Score: ***½
≈ Serena Ryder's sixth studio album, 2013's Harmony, showcases the Canadian singer/songwriter's soulful and bluesy music mixing Dusty Springfield-esque '60s R&B with a contemporary pop aesthetic. Ryder has a huge following in Canada, where her albums have gone gold and platinum and earned her several Juno awards. Prior to the release of her single "Stompa" — included on Harmony — she was not as well known in the United States, but the release of Harmony will probably go a long way toward raising her profile outside of Canada. Ryder possesses a powerful voice with a throaty timbre and a nasal resonance, making her the perfect vehicle for her brand of soulful rock. Not surprisingly, she's drawn favorable comparisons to both Melissa Etheridge and Adele, and Harmony will do nothing to dissuade such allusions. Admittedly, Ryder fits snugly into the post-Amy Winehouse crew of female vocalists with songs that oscillate between moments of Southern soul, contemporary R&B, and mainstream melodic rock. ≈ If Ryder's voice weren't so engaging, or if she weren't so emotionally believable on Harmony, some of the Winehouse/Mark Ronson-esque production via Jerrod Bettis and Jon Levine might cause the average listener, bombarded with a slew of Winehouse-wannabes, to tune out. However, Ryder is such a compelling singer and her songs are, by and large, so catchy that such generalities are easy to dismiss. Primarily, Ryder avoids the retro-tag by delivering a handful of gutsy, organic torch songs like "Please," "Heavy Love," and "Mary Go Round," all of which owe far less to the stylized production and more to the unique sound of her voice and the quality of her songwriting.
≈ Harmony may be the “order of the universe” as well as the title of her new album, says Canadian singer and songwriter Serena Ryder, but it’s also, she adds, “the merging of symbiotic notes that join together to make the music louder, bigger.” If you can wade past the cosmic hyperbole, it’s wise just to focus on the “louder, bigger” concept when it comes to Ryder’s densely packed and diverse new album. The hip-shaking alt/pop and goose-bump inducing vocals are still very much on display on Harmony but the folky strumming core of Ryder’s music has been supplanted by a more daring production edge. Ryder called on two producers for her first new full-length in five years: Jerrod Bettis (Gavin Degraw) and producer/songwriter Jon Levine (Nelly Furtado), both of whom served as multi-instrumentalists with Ryder in her home studio. Lead single, the perfectly titled “Stompa”, is all that and more as the song moves from Adele-styled torcher to blistering funk/rocker with a killer bass line. New track “What I Wouldn’t Do” is a more traditional Ryder pop/folk track, hand-clapped beats and acoustic urgency married to an infectious chorus hook.
Artist Biography by Marisa Brown
≈ Born and raised just outside Peterborough in Millbrook, Ontario, songwriter Serena Ryder grew up listening to old Beatles and Leonard Cohen records that she found in her parents' collection. She started singing publicly as a young child and, having received a guitar from her father, began playing the instrument at the age of 13. Songwriting efforts followed. In 2002, the 18-year-old took several recordings from a live Quebec performance and packaged them into an official demo, which eventually made its way to CBC Radio and got Ryder an invitation to perform on-air. As luck would have it, musician Hawksley Workman happened to hear the broadcast, and immediately contacted the singer at the station to invite her to record an album on his Isadora label.
≈ Backed by Workman and two other players, Ryder recorded her debut, Unlikely Emergency, which was released in 2004 and reissued in the U.S. the following year. The album did well enough to earn Ryder a performance slot at the 2005 Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame press conference, after which it was suggested she cover songs written by Canadian musicians. If Your Memory Serves You Well, a collection of 12 covers and three originals, arrived in late 2006. Ryder soon found herself opening shows for Aerosmith and receiving the 2008 Juno Award for Best New Artist, both of which prefaced the release of her sophomore effort, Is It O.K., in November 2008. The album received a stateside release one year later, and Ryder furthered her buzz in the U.S. by duetting with American Idol graduate Jason Castro on his 2010 debut album. ≈ For her next album she switched to Capitol Records and began a painstaking process of working on songs, discarding 60 of them before settling on a final batch she and producer Jerrod Bettis decided were right. The results of her hard work first saw light with the release of the "Stompa" single in early 2013, then on the album Harmony, which followed later in the year.
Agent: Julien Paquin, Paquin Entertainment Group (Canada), Carole Kinzel, CAA (USA)
Awards & Nominations:
• 2013, Juno Award, Adult Alternative Album of the Year, Harmony, Nomination:
• 2013, Juno Award, Single of the Year, Stompa, Nomination
• 2008, Juno Award, Best New Artist of the Year, EMI Canada
• 2009, Juno Award, Adult Alternative Album of the Year, Is it O.K.
• 2009, Juno Award, Artist of the Year, Nomination
• 2010, Juno Award, Video of the Year, A Little Bit of Red, EMI
• Top 10 hit at Triple A radio in the U.S. with Little Bit of Red
• Gold certification in Canada for “If Your Memory Serves You Well”, “Is It O.K.” and “Weak in the Knees”
• 2013, Gold certification in Canada for “Harmony”
• 2013, Platinum certification in Canada for “Stompa”
• Falling Out (1999)
• Serena Ryder Live (2002)
• Unlikely Emergency (2004)
• If Your Memory Serves You Well (2006)
• Is It O.K. (2008)
• Harmony (2012)
• Harmony (Deluxe Edition) (2013)
• Serena (1999)
• A Day At the Studio (2002)
• Told You in a Whispered Song (2007)
• Sweeping The Ashes (2008)
• Serena Ryder & the Beauties 12" Vinyl (2011)
• Live at The Market Hall (2002)
• Serena Ryder Live (2003)
• Live in Oz (2005)
• Live in South Carolina (2011)
Awards: Billboard Albums:
Year / Album / Chart / Peak
• 2009 Is It O.K Top Heatseekers #1
• 2008 Is It O.K. Top Canadian Albums #22
• Serena Lauren Ryder is a Juno Award-winning Canadian artist.
Born in Toronto, she grew up in Millbrook, Ontario. Ryder gained national recognition with her ballad Weak in the Knees in 2007. "I'd been writing a lot since I was maybe 11 years old," Ryder says. "I wasn't doing diary entries; I needed to express something a little deeper than that, which I couldn't express in conversation. And I'd been singing since I was a little kid, doing cover songs at gigs. But when I got my guitar, a whole other world opened up to me. I realized I could put the poetry I was writing to song and bring two very separate things together."
• She ranges musically between folk, roots, country, and adult contemporary music. An accomplished musician, Ryder can play the following musical instruments: guitar, piano, mandolin, ukulele, harmonica, banjo, clarinet, drums, bass.
Voice and Timbre:
• According to various sources, Ryder possesses a three-octave vocal range. Ryder is considered a mezzo-soprano. Her timbre has been described as slightly nasal with a raspy lower register. Ryder is often praised for her technical virtuosity. She hits notes in full voice, with a controlled vibrato and an incredible conception of pitch. Ryder has a good-sized arsenal of technical skills. She "delivers in a commanding, often melismatic style that enchants".
• Reviews compared her to "the teenaged Aretha Franklin" (Elle), noting her "impressive fearlessness" (Boston Globe), lauding her "pipes, presence [and] potential" (No Depression), and observing that "Ryder brings a range and vocal maturity of someone twice her age" (American Songwriter).
|Serena Ryder — Harmony [Limited Edition] (2013)|