Ryan’s Album of the Year Pick: Matt Maltese’s “Krystal”

Matt MalteseKrystal – indie rock

As 2019 comes to a close, we can look back and confidently say that it will be remembered as a fantastic year for music. The sheer amount of talent from independent artist this year has been surreal, and picking a favorite album  was incredibly difficult, but I believe that one artist in particular stands out from the rest! Matt Maltese’s Krystal is beautiful, yet hard to describe,  it’s an incredibly complex and dynamic album that leaves you listening over and over again, trying to pick out all the subtle nuances of each track. Matt has such a distinct tone that stands out from the rest and classifies him in a league of his own. Matt uses incredibly satisfying and unique blends of old school arrangements, and modern songwriting to create an incredibly fresh and unique sound that I have yet to hear anywhere else. His lyric’s range from the dark and obscure, to soft and tender and tote the line of pure poetry. Everything Matt has done in the past has taken on a life of its own, and his latest release is no different. If you’ve never heard of Matt Maltese, I cant recommend him enough!

Recommended Tracks: “Rom-Com Gone Wrong” and “When You Wash Your Hair”

Give Krystal a listen below!

Ryan’s Prime Slices of the Week (11/18 – 11/23): The Districts, Hoops

The Districts – “Hey Jo” [single] – indie rock

Indie rock’s newest shining star is a band called The Districts, and they’re making big strides! Featuring a light ambient arrangement and a smooth emotive vocal cutting through the mix, this song is an up and coming indie anthem, leaving us all excited to hear what’s next! The lyrics of this tune paint an uncertainty and pain of being left behind. This single from The Districts  newest album “You Know Im Not Going Anywhere” that is set to release in the coming months.

Were are all very excited to hear what they come out with next, so give it a listen and see for yourself!


Hoops – “They Say” [single] – indie rock

Releasing their newest single in two years, Indiana dreampop trio, Hoops are back after a long hiatus and better than ever! This track breaks into a smooth funk inspired  groove that gets you moving before the first word. The smooth vocal styling swaddles the entire song in warmth, and relaxation tying the entire arrangement together. “They Say” is a feel good song that’s bound for the charts and we’re all excited to have them back! Hoops are on tour for the first time since their hiatus and you can see them live, December 4th at The Dance in New York City!

Listen down below!

Ryan’s Prime Slices of the Week (11/4-11/9): Patrick Watson, Matt Maltese

Patrick Watson – “Dream For Dreaming” – indie pop

Patrick Watson has created another gem with “Dream for Dreaming .” This tune immerses you immediately within the first chord and leaves you asking the question “What’s next?” It doesn’t disappoint either, Patrick Watson paints an ambient, emotional world that encapsulated his smooth, cathartic voice perfectly. This keeps building and building and gives the listener a sense of melancholy and raw emotion. The use of dynamics makes the song have an ebb and flow comparable to waves in the ocean, giving a very powerful performance and making this one of the more remarkable tunes to come out so far in 2019. I highly recommend “Dream For Dreaming” and encourage everyone to give it a listen!



Matt Maltese – “Jupiter” [single] – indie rock

Kicking off the track with synth and punchy bass, Matt Maltese brings us into a retro vibe comparable to the soft rock bands of the 1970s. Matt’s vocals are smooth and his lyrical content is always exceptional and bordering on the abstract. This tune weaves a tale of yearning for a past love, and tells it in a way only Matt Maltese can. This song has a fantastic vibe and feel, and keeps up with the excellence that is this artist’s standard. All of Matt’s content is fantastic and I recommend you checking him out! Give. “Jupiter” a listen below!


Ryan’s Prime Slices of The Week (10/27-11/2): Tino Drima, Craig Finn

Tino Drima – “Lover” – indie rock

Off the newest album Suitin’ Up by Tino Drima,  “Lover” is a classic groove in a modern arrangement. This tune is funky and a throwback with powerful lofi vocals, mellow guitar and a pounding bass. Tino Drima has been bringing some very heavy hitters to the market with their newest album and this is a perfect example what they’re capable of! Give it a listen and see for yourself!




Craig Finn – “Its Never Been A Fair Fight”[single] – retro songwriter

With a style reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen, prolific Songwriter Craig Finn has released yet another amazing single. His poetic and gritty lyrics pull you into a story that only Craig Finn could tell. The arrangement is minimal but fun and keeps you interested play after play. Moving to New York over 10 years ago, Craig Finn is known for his unique lyrics and how he weaves the urban environments of New York into his lyrics. “Its Never Been A Fair Fight” Is available on all major streaming platforms, so give it a listen!




Ryan’s Prime Slices of the Week (10/20-10/26): Pearly, Big Search

Pearly – “Chain Of Coral”[Single]  -indie rock

Bordering on ambient, “Chain of Coral” is a mellow,  yet very inviting song that really folds into the scenery of everyday life. This song features a very simple arrangement of acoustic guitar, piano, haunting harmonies that create a very unique sound that only Pearly could get away with. This song is overall intense, haunting and calm; and chugs along with a plethora of ocean imagery and a beautiful sonic pallet, but with an undeniable sense of anxiety. This tune is great and I would recommend the listen!





Big Search – ” Thin Veil of Time”- indie rock

Being somewhat reminiscent of 70s soft rock, “Thin Veil of Time” has a very folky throwback sound, and is the latest release by artist Big Search. The tune feels incredibly laid back and loose; with instruments constantly coming in and out, and this ebb and flow keeps this song interesting. The lyrics of this song harken back to the more psychedelic inspired songs of the 70s yet the arrangement makes the tune feel fresh and modern. This is definitely one of the better Indie tunes to come out of 2019! Check it out below!



Ryan’s Prime Slices of the Week (10/13-10/19): The Snuts, LOVING

The Snuts – “Maybe California” [single] – indie rock

Brought to you by the band who has been producing indie anthems for the last four years, The Snuts new single “Maybe California” Is a fun catchy new tune to ring in Fall 2019. The  retro arrangement and upfront vocals make this tune an easy listen, and it’s sure to get stuck in your head for the rest of the day! The chugging baseline and melodic background vocals give this song a fun bouncy vibe and yet emotional enough where you can decipher the meaning of the lyrics. This song is highly recommended, but check it out and see for yourself!



LOVING – “VISIONS” -[single] -indie rock

Theres a new player in the lofi indie scene, and no one does it better than LOVING. “Visions” is a track that is greatly needed for this fall. Being the sonic equivalent to a roaring fireplace in a snow storm, this tune feels loose and free but obviously carefully crafted making the atmosphere presented, that much more immersible. Anyone who loves the warmth of wobbly tape will just have a blast with this tune. Check out “Visions” Below!


Video: Mind Debris plays BIRN Alive!

Mind Debris is a Boston-based songwriting and production duo composed of keyboardist Diego Valencia and guitarist Michael Beckhart. Their sound can only be described as space rock splashed with psychedelia, with influences from Grizzly Bear, Khruangbin, Temples, and Radiohead. These two have come to join us for a very special performance and interview only on BIRN1. They performed at BIRN Alive June 29, 2019 and featured their songs “Broken Shadows” and  “Eons”

For more information and updates, check out Mind Debris here!

Website: MindDebris

Facebook: MindDebris

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Video: The Bakers play BIRN Alive!

The Bakers are a Boston-based, brother and sister indie folk duo. Consisting of Emily and Ben Baker, the duo mix American folk with alternative rock to create a beautiful, hauntingly sweet combination that cuts through the traditional for a fresh and new sound. They are heavily inspired by Radiohead, Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and other artists such as Grizzly Bear and I’m with Her. This combination helps the pair generate a brand new take on the traditional norm of the folk singer-songwriter, and assists them in constructing soaring, somber melodies integrated with their beautifully arranged pieces, that are quickly taking the hearts of many in the local Boston music scene. They appeared here on the BIRN July 20th, 2019 and featured the songs “Superstitious Impressions” and “Not too Far Away.”

For more information and updates, check out The Bakers here!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebakersstrings

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Video: Valley Maker plays BIRN Alive!

Valley Maker is an indie/folk rock band based in Seattle, Washington and are recently signed to Frenchkiss Records. Valley Maker Appeared on BIRN Alive, Friday, April 26  for a very special performance and interview, featuring the songs “A Couple Days” and “Baby In Your Kingdom.” Following the release of their newest album. Rhododendron, was released in October. “This album is lyrically intricate while also maintaining an airy atmosphere that is easy to listen too casually.” Austin Crane, the man behind Valley Maker, named the album after “the common plant which springs up in both Crane’s native south and his current home in Washington –  a metaphor that is very central to the overall theme of each song and transition.” They are very excited to announce and  about to begin their 2019 European tour.

For more information and updates, check Valley Maker out here!

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Ryan’s Reviews: Let’s Rock by The Black Keys

The Black KeysLet’s Rock – (blues rock)

The Black Keys are at it again and have just released their ninth studio album, Let’s Rock, which is their first in five years. They are currently back on tour following its release.

Let’s Rock is the same old Black Keys vibe, but decidedly less bluesy and they’ve taken a much cleaner approach this time. Lead singer Dan Auerbach seems to have become a more dynamic songwriter during his hiatus from The Black Keys, in fact releasing his own successful solo album Waiting on a Song. Let’s Rock has been a much anticipated release, and it came with months of promotion and hype, plus a slew of music videos and the single “Lo/Hi.”

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