Photo: Taylor Noel / Courtesy of Sideways Media

Folk Duo Ryanhood Discover New Life “Under the Leaves” (premiere)

Under the Leaves, sees folk-pop duo Ryanhood exploring new means of innovating their sound. Hear the title song now.

He’s Ryan Green, he’s Cameron Hood, and together, they’re Ryanhood. The duo have been bending folk devices into varying crossroads for nearly two decades, touring with the likes of Jason Mraz, Matt Nathanson, and Mat Kearney. Continuing their path as Tucson-based trailblazers, their upcoming LP, Under the Leaves, sees Ryanhood exploring new means of innovating their sound.

Besides acting as composer, vocalist, guitarist, and mandolinist, Green’s also slipped into the project as its sole producer. Throughout, he impresses with the vibrance through which he conveys their collection of strings and harmonies. Taking the vocal lead on the duo’s titular new single, Hood is a confident navigator. He’s deceptively at-ease as he heartily commands its unusual instrumentation; the track is a swirl of strings and multisided percussion in 5/4 time. His lyrical inspiration, meanwhile, explores fresh territory just as well.

“Lyrically, it was inspired by the Wendell Berry poem, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front,” says Hood. “…He writes, ‘Ask the questions that have no answers / Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias. / Say that your main crop is the forest / that you did not plant, / that you will not live to harvest.’” Hood continues, “In the face of everything fast and new, Berry is talking about cultivating deep, slow roots—something seemingly missing from our modern lives.”

“Additionally, Quaker Thomas R. Moore writes, ‘We are bowed down with burdens, crushed under committees, strained, breathless, and hurried, panting through a never-ending program of appointments… [we] postpone till next week that deeper life.. for this week is much too full.’ And as tempting as it is to call that the curse of modern life, knowing that he wrote those words in 1941 reveals that our busyness is not something that this Wi-Fi, hi-def culture is doing to us. It’s something we’re bringing with us into the culture.”

“Under the Leaves” is Ryanhood’s latest single from their forthcoming album of the same name. The song releases on 2 April. The album releases on 16 April via Four Miles.