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  • Writer's pictureTravis J. Vanden Heuvel

Clayton Ryan: The Resilient Soul Behind "GHOST TOWN"

Navigating Life's Resets Through Melody and Heartache

Reviews & Trends Magazine has profiled Clayton Ryan, upon the release of his upcoming album, as an artist and influencer in music and entertainment.

In the vast landscape of modern music, where personal tales often morph into universal anthems, Clayton Ryan emerges with his latest album, "GHOST TOWN," a project born out of life's tumultuous twists and unfiltered clarity during times of profound change. This album stands not just as a collection of songs but as a narrative arc tracing the contours of heartbreak, renewal, and the haunting echoes of a past life in the corners of a once-familiar town.

Ryan describes "GHOST TOWN" as a "reactionary album," a creative outpouring triggered by a series of personal upheavals that saw him resetting his life from the ground up. "I was single again, broke, out of work, and the only place left to go was home," Ryan shares, outlining the genesis of an album that captures the essence of starting over, surrounded by the ghosts of a life once lived.

The album's title track delves into the spectral presence of absence, exploring how the void left by a loved one can transform familiar places into landscapes of longing. Ryan reflects on the uncanny ability of heartbreak to embed itself in the mundane, saying, "You feel like you’re walking past their ghost everywhere you used to go together."

Yet, amidst the desolation, "GHOST TOWN" is also a testament to the places and communities that shape us. For Ryan, Rapid City, South Dakota, represents the quintessential hometown, a place of firsts—first loves, first misadventures, and the first true sense of belonging. "It’s the first place I truly understood what being a musician does for others," he notes, highlighting the support and camaraderie found within the South Dakota music scene.

The album itself is a collaborative effort, showcasing the talents of individuals who have become more than just contributors; they are integral to the story Ryan weaves through his music. From the skilled guitar riffs of Isaac Levy to the drum beats of Bennett Vee, and the fiddle strings of Julia DiGrazia, each artist brings a piece of themselves to the project. Ryan warmly recalls the communal spirit of the recording sessions, "The majority of the parts were laid down in one or two takes by these stone-cold players and fast friends."

"GHOST TOWN" is not just an album but a journey through the cycles of love and loss, designed to be experienced in its entirety. Ryan emphasizes the conceptual nature of the work, urging listeners to embrace the album as a cohesive narrative. "This is a 40-minute ordeal and I hope people take that and let themselves have a moment to feel something they’ve ignored," he says, pointing to the intentional design of tracks that bleed into each other, creating a seamless tapestry of emotion and reflection.

Beyond the music, Ryan's connection to his audience transcends the typical artist-listener dynamic. He sees his supporters not as fans but as an extended family, a collective of souls who find solace and understanding in his lyrics. "I’m crying regularly at the kindness you all show, and I owe you so much more than an album," Ryan expresses, hinting at a career trajectory that aspires to create lasting bonds and shared experiences.

With "GHOST TOWN," Clayton Ryan invites us into a world where vulnerability and resilience coexist, where the ghosts of the past become the muses for tomorrow's melodies. As much a narrative of personal rebirth as it is a collective sigh of those who've found themselves walking through their own ghost towns, Ryan's latest work is a reminder that in the echoes of loss, there's still music to be made, and in the sharing of our stories, we find our way back home.


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