Welcome to The Singles Bar, a review series focused on new single and song releases.
The chill autumn air fell down around Our Wicked Lady, leaving a minted scent sticky and sweet on the brick and mortar. The moon hung like a glowing orb over a sea of hipster haircuts and sloshy, bubbly mixed drinks. The New York City landscape sprawled out in every direction. The bass throbbed into the speakers, faintly at first, priming the crowd for Ryan Egan‘s stormy presence. His slick swagger was entrancing, particularly on his new song “Tongue of Yours,” a suitably provocative and angelic piece. The bum-bums are sultry, intoning the composition with an airy magnificence. The haunting Gregorian chant-like backing vocals can send chills down your spine, but you aren’t creeped out. You are captivated.
Egan’s troupe of players wrap like a warm tourniquet around Egan’s vocal, cutting off the circulation and serving to exacerbate his symptoms. “When will these old hands stop shaking? Where’s the final blow? I’ll take it,” Egan fires off a string of queries, exposing his frail insecurities. “Do you really feel like fading out? When will this old heart stop breaking with that tongue of yours betraying? Who can really watch this all play out?”
Suited up with trembling programed drums, the doleful arrangement mimics his grim psyche. Ironically, when he was creating the song, he was undergoing a trying time. He explains, “Making ‘Tongue of Yours‘ was a unique experience for me on various levels; first because it was an older song and I often neglect to revisit ideas. Secondly, I recorded it mostly at home after severely burning my hands, which left me unable to play instruments for a few weeks. This led me to sing all the chords in the song and program drums, an arrangement I would not have arrived at without having been injured. I think there is a darkness to the layers of vocals because I was feeling so down at the time, but also a sort of anxious intensity because I was inspired by the restrictions I was working with.”
“Tongue of Yours” samples Egan’s upcoming album, Fever + Bloom, expected next month.
Photo Credit: Hugo Cohen