In 2010, Ryan Green and Cameron Hood of Ryanhood – called “a match made in radio heaven” by the Arizona Daily Star – were averaging more than 130 shows a year, performing in nearly every state on the US map, opening shows for Jason Mraz, Matt Nathanson, and Train, meeting with big-time managers, and even getting tweeted about by Ellen Degeneres.
But underneath the surface of independent success, all was not well. And that's when it happened.
“We hit a wall,” says Hood. “It had become all about the promotion and the sell, and we couldn’t remember what we even had to offer.” After six straight years of recording, promoting, touring, and profound fatigue, it started to look like pop/folk duo Ryanhood was finished. Aware that it was only a matter of time before they burned-out completely, he and Green made the potentially dangerous decision to take a full year sabbatical from any kind of music “business.”
“It’s a scary thing,” adds Green. “You don’t know if the time off will recharge you, or just end up being a really long and drawn-out way of calling it quits.”
But as the band put their roots back down in their hometown of Tucson, AZ, and reconnected with family and friends, their gamble began to pay off. By the end of the year they found themselves in a surge of creativity, flooded with new songs.
Being off of the road, though, Green and Hood lacked the touring income to fund a new recording project, so they turned to their fans who stunned the band by contributing more than $10,000 towards a new album. With their supporters behind them, Ryanhood holed up at the home-studio of long-time friend Ryan Alfred (soundman for Calexico, The Jayhawks, Okkerville River), who helped steer the band away from a mentality of pop perfection, and towards emotionally real and captivating performances.
“Rather than asking ourselves, ‘Is this marketable? Does this sound like Ryanhood?’ Hood explains, “we just kept asking, ‘Is it beautiful? Does it move me?’”
The resulting collection, After Night Came Sun, is a colorful album of songs about catastrophe and hope, failure and redemption. The album reach further stylistically than the band’s previous work, while the heart of the acoustic duo still remains beautifully identifiable: sweet and soaring harmonies, mesmerizing guitar melodies, and honest, searching lyrics that all fit somewhere between Simon & Garfunkel, Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, and Jimmy Eat World.
THE GREAT COLLISION
The Great Collision is a dreamy-alt-pop project by singer/songwriter/guitarist Ryan David Green (the Ryan of Ryanhood). Citing a wide range of influences including film-composers Yann Tiersen and Jon Brion, and pop artists John Mayer and Coldplay, Green has sought to infuse a cinematic sound to his compositions, often including orchestral string players.
CAMERON & CARLIE
Ryanhood's other half, Cameron Hood and his honey-voiced gal-pal Carlie Frazee will be celebrating the release of their Christmas collaboration, "Tiny Winter Hymnal EP," with a harmony-laden set of originals. For fans of Lady Antebellum, The Swell Season, The Weepies, and The Civil Wars.