One might say that Ryan Alfred’s first solo release has been a long-time coming. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, sound engineer, and singer-songwriter, the Tucsonan artist has provided bass and harmonies to Calexico and toured with the likes of the Jayhawks, Nick Lowe, the Swell Season, and Run Boy Run. Best known now for his work as songwriter and bandleader in Sweet Ghosts, the COVID-19 pandemic has offered a collaborator as avid as Alfred a chance to finally develop his solo debut.
A Sudden Rush of Noise, the EP is much of what it says on the tin—an ethereal, mystifying instrumental experience that veers and dives by means that nod to the whole of Alfred’s musical experience. Nestled at its center, its title track disperses midday ennui with its persistent mid-tempo beats, given color and essence through yearning analog synths. It utilizes elements of electronica, hip-hop, jazz, rock, and film music. This hearty mix of influences is what informs each of the EP’s creations, culminating in arrangements representative of the many musical realms of Alfred’s mind. Alfred stands alongside atmospheric creators like Robert Glasper and Kero One with the release while also accomplishing something that is uniquely his own.