Back in June of 2014, Los Angeles native Ryn Weaver released her first single “OctaHate” on SoundCloud, which attracted attention from celebrities such as Charli XCX, Harry Styles, and Hayley Williams of Paramore. This track blew up all over the internet, and one year later, Ryn’s full-length debut album The Fool is available for purchase on iTunes and in stores all over the world. The Fool contains a collection of fun, indie pop songs with avant-garde sounds that greatly intrigue the listener.
The first track on the album is a haunting record called “Runaway.” This track is the perfect opener for Ryn’s album because it provides the listener with a glimpse into the type of music that will be featured throughout the LP. In this track, Ryn explores ethereal harmonies and ghostly echoes and then pairs them with the sounds of sirens, crashing drumsticks, and large bass drums. “Runaway” draws the listener in, excites them, and prepares them for the tracks on The Fool that are yet to come.
Track number two, “OctaHate,” is one of my favorites on this LP. A breakout single, “OctaHate” has an infectiously contagious beat, which Ryn’s unique voice glazes over perfectly. This song is one of the most dynamic tracks on the album as well, as it begins with an acoustic sound and gradually gains volume until it climaxes with the track’s powerful foot-stomping chorus. Without a doubt, “OctaHate” is the perfect pop anthem for this album and is an overall outstanding track.
Another favorite of mine is the album’s third track “Pierre.” This track has some of the most honest and beautiful yet quirky lyrics on the album, which tell a tragic story about not being able to be with the one you love. Some of these great lyrics include “I danced in the desert, in the pouring rain / Drank with the devil and forgot my name / Woke with somebody when the morning came / No one there to shame me for my youth / Cause I wouldn’t be with you.” Ryn’s voice sounds light and delicate in this track, making it the perfect contrast to “OctaHate.”
The Fool continues with an electric track titled “Stay Low.” This track features many synthesized sounds, including one that sounds like the high-pitched keys on a xylophone. The chorus mainly employs the use of an electric guitar, which is strummed in an infectiously catchy rhythm. In addition, during the bridge, Ryn’s voice is led by only a bass line, an interesting choice that is not commonly heard in pop music. As the song fades out, Ryn can be heart mumbling something strange and inaudible, which intrigues the listener even more.
“Sail On” is the fifth track on The Fool, and, in my opinion, it is one of the most interesting tracks on the album. Its catchy pop melody is extremely fun but has many layers to it as well. Furthermore, throughout the entire song, the plucking of an electric guitar can be heard in the background, which keeps the record consistently fun and upbeat. I really like how this song’s dynamics change drastically as well, with the beginning of the song being mostly acoustic and the end of the track achieving maximum production value.
The next and sixth track on the album is the LP’s title track “The Fool.” The beginning of “The Fool” makes a slight departure from traditional pop and includes the sounds of bells and those similar to that of a hollow pipe. However, once the chorus strikes, the infectiously catchy melody present in most of Ryn’s songs appears yet again. The song ends with an unexpected staccato electronic beat that is extremely fascinating and instantly grabs the listener’s attention. Even more, the lyrics to “The Fool” are some of the most relatable lyrics on the album, as Ryn sings “Now I see shades of roses / Your love, I suppose, is an ocean the ebb and the flow” and “So I curse my stars for a fair game / While you nurse my scars and the old flame / I’m a fool for you.” Overall, “The Fool” is one of the most diverse songs on the album, and I can clearly see why it was chosen as the album’s title track.
In my opinion, “Promises” is one of the most avant-garde tracks on the album. It includes melancholy lyrics such as “I never meant to break my own promises” set to an upbeat electronic dance-pop beat, which is quite unexpected. Furthermore, it also features many different types of synthesized sounds that add numerous different layers to the track. “Promises” is the record that surprised me the most on this album, but I am extremely glad that Ryn chose to include it in her first LP.
The next track on the album, “Free,” is one of the most romantic songs on The Fool. Ryn shows off the high end of her vocal range in the chorus of this track, as she sings “I’m slippin’ up under my feet / Hallelujah, I believe / Hear my heart beat major keys / Nothin’ competes / When love is free.” This song is extremely sweet and makes me smile every time I hear it. Ryn also sings “Not a ball or a chain, just a ball when we’re together” repeatedly throughout the song, which conveys feelings of happiness and true love to the listener.
“Traveling Song” is one of the only slow and mellow songs on The Fool. Ryn states that she wrote this song about her recently deceased grandfather and that it is a tribute to all of the people who make a great influence on your travels and experiences in life. This song is extremely beautiful and includes moving lyrics such as “I’ve never been one for goodbyes / So, ’till I meet you there, I’m singing / A traveling song to ease the ride / And so you know, everywhere I roam / I’ll see you on the road.”
The tenth song on the album is called “Here Is Home,” and talks about finding home in a person and not necessarily a place. The chorus of this song includes lyrics such as “Cause when the rain falls or the river’s dry running / You can fall into my arms / And if we’re still living when the Earth stops spinning / You can fall into my arms” and “I know you know that here is home.” The entirety of this song emanates positive vibes, and it is a great feel-good track to start wrapping up the album.
The Fool‘s closer is a track called “New Constellations,” another one of my favorites on the album. The lyrics to this song are some of the most interesting and different lyrics on the LP, and I am fascinated as Ryn sings “I can only imagine the day that they said
No, the world isn’t flat, it’s a circle instead / You can ride to wherever you want to now / And those dizzy stargazers who dreamed of the black / Kept their heads in the clouds and they never looked back / They kept wandering and never did they look down / Charting Neptune by the fire of the Sun / Kept looking for new constellations.” While this song is a ballad, Ryn makes sure to insert her powerful voice into the track to leave a distinct final impression on the listener.
Overall, Ryn Weaver’s first full-length album is a great debut that features Ryn’s signature vocal style as well as a diverse track list that explores the depths of indie pop. The Fool has something for everyone on it, and I definitely recommend it to all lovers of pop and alternative music.