William Ryan Key - Thirteen
Review by Dom Vigil
There’s nothing that can compare to growing up with one of your favorite bands, witnessing them change and evolve and eventually, watching as they go their separate ways. In a way, it almost feels as if you’re on the same journey, as if you’re right there with them every step of the way, so for any long-time Yellowcard fans, it’ll be impossible not to feel a bit emotional when listening to William Ryan Key’s new solo EP, Thirteen. Swapping the high energy choruses of Yellowcard for a mellow acoustic sound, William Ryan Key has created an incredibly powerful five song release that truly feels like growing up.
With these five stunning tracks, Key manages to explore a sound and a side of himself that even long-time fans haven’t heard yet. Soft acoustics and stunning vocal runs dominate Thirteen, but what truly carries the EP is its lyrical content. Opening the EP is the powerful “Old Friends,” which serves as a perfect introduction to this new chapter in Key’s career. Lyrically, this song reflects on the past and asks for forgiveness for old mistakes. It’s about facing your shortcomings, learning from them and looking toward the future.
The EP’s first single, “Vultures” has a few little callbacks to Yellowcard’s sound, but like “Old Friends,” it is carried by mellow acoustics and stunning vocals. These songs are about growing up and moving on, whether it’s from the past (see "Vultures") or the loss of a loved one, as detailed in the imagery of “Form and Figure,” which takes on a sound similar to Death Cab For Cutie.
Thirteen isn’t simply an acoustic Yellowcard EP, as some might assume. In fact, the best thing about the EP is how unlike Yellowcard it sounds. Ambient sounds, rich acoustic guitar and beautiful vocal work carry forward a story of growth and change on this release - something that many listeners will be able to connect with. Closing with the optimistic final track, “Great Unknown,” Thirteen feels like a new beginning for William Ryan Key, and a spectacular one at that.
LISTEN TO: "Old Friends"
STAY CONNECTED WITH WILLIAM RYAN KEY: https://www.facebook.com/williamryankey/