Indie Inspirations: Ryn Weaver, “The Fool”
I can’t really express how important it was for me when I first discovered Weavers first and only album, thus far. Every 20-something year hold has to listen, immerse themselves and dissect each song. I traveled roughly 5 hours a day on a bus, to and from my internship/job two summers ago and I would listen to her album. Like her, I too was chasing my dreams and hoping that all the work I was putting into my job would eventually prove to people in the future just how good I was at what I was doing. I think we all want to find our dream and live it to its fullest content.
For me, “The Fool” was everything I was so frustrated with and wanted out of life. It was an album I immerse my full attention into every single time I put my headphones on.
I won’t be able to explain the whole album with justice and fit in everything I want, I just can’t. But I can tell tell you that if you, too have lingering thoughts that live in the back of your mind, waiting, sitting on your hands to live out your dreams—then you need to listen to this album right now, please. Other than Florence Welch, I have never come across another artist quite as profound and honest as Ryn Weaver.
A gypsy at heart, this album travels through the journey over the past several years of her chasing her dreams as a singer-songwriter (and producer!) of her own music.
Familiar with performing with numerous bands before, she kept seeing a trend in the lack of dedication or heart of artists and fellow songwriters had that she couldn’t bare to be a part of anymore.
Enter the birth of “The Fool”. Intoxicating alto-soprano vocals, masquerading synthasizers and stripped violins shaped the all-encompassing soundscape of the album.
The first track on the album, “Runaway” is the epitome and purpose of why she made this record. To understand her lyrics, you have to be introduced to her as a person. At first, I didn’t think much of “Runaway”, but with calculated concentrations and contemplating her lyrics, I got it’s overarching meaning.
“Runaway” is the introductory track to the album; distorted cracks and hums scrape together as Weaver’s cries break the ciaos. Buzzing, swirling and The frustrated cries break and the hums and cracks come to a jolt as Weaver starts into the meat of her track: “If it takes 200 I’m betting on you to hold me tight when tides are high/ What’ll you do? I’ve been waiting on you to dry these tears you made me cry…” Her voice trails off as the tracks is swooped closed and an alter-ego breaks in to break the frustrated cries.
Purposefully, “Runaway” is chosen as the first track; it brings context to the album in its entirety. In order for her to be happy and make music, she had to leave a secure life to try her hand in the unknowns of her future in music. To her, to seek out your dreams shouldn’t be a selfish action, in which she owns up to, in her track “…So maybe I’m wicked, biting the apple and maybe I’m hungry for wanting more and anyways I’ve got to runaway, run run run.”
The time has come to do something about it and she chose to runaway from all that held her back. Was it her family that held her back? Her secure home life? Remember the opening lyrics she recites in the midst of the swirling synths, cracks and distorted hums: “I’m betting on you to hold me tight when tides are high/ What’ll you do? I’ve been waiting on you to dry these tears you made me cry…” These lyrics will carry with her to the end of this album and to her very last song, “New Constellations”.
Good with the Bad
Not all of the album is wrapped in reminiscence and heartbreak. Weaver doesn’t take herself too seriously and knows with trial and error, often comes a lot of errors. She tried her hand in a gypsy love affair, “Pierre”, one that she couldn’t be tied to and knowingly, “we are all broken pieces”, so “Sail On” if you can’t handle the journey you signed up for.
Weavers kaleidoscope of mesmerizing vocals enchant you in songs such as “Sail On”, an outcry for a lover to move on if they can’t handle being on the same journey with her. “Free” and “Stay Low” coolly recognize the “stupefied”, but in control feeling of love as it grabs a hold of you and wants to effortlessly carry you away into gaga-land. But sadly, our dreams don’t always end up there, so we must let them “sail on”.
As the latter half of the album progresses, we enter uncharted territory. This is the psychologically-rich and subconscious realm that has haunted and stayed with Weaver through the process of becoming a self-relying singer-songwriter.
Here is Home
“Here is Home” is profoundly reminiscence of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”. Just as “Landslide” struck the heartstrings of every one who felt the clashing emotions of adolescence and adulthood, so does “Here is Home”. The track is an homage to her family, particularly her father who taught her her first love: music. Listening to classic rock, the era of Tom Petty, David Bowie and Stevie Nicks rocked her world as a young girl, singing with her father brought the greatest joy in her life.
“Here is Home” is knowing where ever you’re going, you are enough and there is no need to worry that you won’t have a place to fall back onto when things get really shitty and hard to handle on your own. I can’t tell you how profoundly significant this track rang true for me and quite honestly, for Weaver. This is a track best interpreted lying down, starring at your ceiling, headphones and soaking up every word to the songs all-too-familiar emotions and words.
The beauty of find oneself is falling head over heels in the thing you love doing most and always remembering, you’re not alone. Whether you’re stuck chasing your dreams and looking for the next best thing, it’s not all for not. You’re not selfish for doing it and you’re not alone.
As Ryn Weaver put it in: “Everyone is lookin’ for heaven. Chase the greener roads everybody longs, but you/ Cause when the rain falls or the river stops runnin’, you can fall into my arms. And if we’re still livin’ when the earth stops spinnin’, you can fall into my arms. Singin’, Oooo even if you stay or if you go… oh I know you know that here is home, yes I know you know that here is home.
And to finally silence all the guilt she has carried with her, chasing her dream and making the record that reflects everything she has experienced over the past several years, the track is stripped and we are left one final note in the quite echos of the room: “Each day leads to one, and I’m betting on you to hold me tight when tides are high. What’ll you do, I’ve been waiting on you to dry these tears you made me cry.”
Playing “The Fool” in falling in love with the unknown universe that scared, but dream-filled people are filled with is a hard concept to break to everyone. But after running away, falling in love with the path you set for yourself, laughing about the crazy love-spells and journey to self-discovery, just know where you came from and who you can “hold [you] tight when tides are high.”
What If There Is More
Through all the care-free journeys she’s been on, self-discovery and gypsy lifestyle, “Traveling Song” is kind of a bittersweet nod to recognizing not everything will be as wild and exciting, especially when times are tough and it feels like it’ll never turn back into something good. “Nobody knows where they are going or try to rap our minds over the edge of all our knowings, be a band without divine. Be it the tip of my iceberg-blues are showing, I’ve never been one for good-byes/ So ‘till I meet you there I’m singing Traveling Song to ease the ride and so you know, everywhere I roam, I’ll see you on the road.”
Although we earn for adventures and uncharted territories of “New Constellations”, it can get frustratingly lonely. Just as we thought that this spectacular journey we have embarked on is everything we wanted out of life, something is holding us back. And it’s not like it’s holding us from being happy, it’s just that something is missing. That we haven’t been fully honest with ourselves this whole time. Like we have been shooting ourselves up to the Moon on a grand expedition only to feel flat as the ground and the air is deflated out of us.
The final thoughts leading into the finale as the rocket sounds shoot off into the sky in “New Constellations”, the dark twinkling of wind chimes and distorted synths ring in our ears. Weaver is still stuck with the one notion that she cannot escape or ignore: “What if there’s more? What if there’s more?! I need just a little more. What if there is more!?”
Keep asking for more.