There’s a certain sound old speakers project – the sound of a record through a stereo that’s hard to replicate. Portland’s Ryan Oxford has managed to capture this warm fuzz in “Fa Fa Fa Fired”, the title track of his pending album of the same name that hits home for anyone who’s ever been canned from a seemingly decent relationship. This one gets a longer review, and you’ll see why soon.
Since moving to Portland about five years ago, Ryan has gained a foothold in the scene and in the landscape of his own style. The album itself crosses generational lines. He’s done his homework as any reputable musician should, and though his influences become apparent with each track, he’s not waving any flags. It begins with the track in question – this catchy tune about heartbreak, blending into a walk among crazy pillars of nature on “Talisman Butte”. Lyrics get deeper throughout, particularly on “Flashes of Rage”, though he keeps his cool musically. It’s something akin to manically shaking a small boat on a big lake with a smile on his face. What is art without the invocation of red vision?
He brought in a few helping hands to bring this molten gold to a simmer, notably Christian Blunda (Mean Jeans, Patsy’s Rats), Nick Dewitt (Pretty Girls Make Graves), Scott Hartlaub (Jessica Lea Mayfield) and Arjan Miranda (Black Mountain, Strand of Oaks). Waves of inspiration and classical beauty flood the magnets of these headphones and burn Fa Fa Fa Fired into memory. If music is any indication of our state as a society, this is definitive proof that 2017 is off to a better start than we had hoped only a month ago. The album is out January 27th on Mama Bird Records. Be sure to grab a copy, but in the meantime, listen below.