Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Soldier Rye currently resides in Los Angeles. As a teenager he spent endless hours in his room coming up with anything that was creative. That was in the ’80’s so with no computer or apps to make the music for the songs he had inside his head. He used blank cassette tapes for recording makeshift instruments and singing attempts. It was all for self-gratification, as Soldier Rye never thought he’d do more than that. Moving to Los Angeles help push his creativity, and ambition though. Introduced to a producer via a friend, he decide to record an album of his demos, just to see if he could. That was the beginning for him. 2018 sees Soldier Rye release his brand new 9 track album, “Antenna” – a title that suits an artist always in search of expanding his own reality and understanding the nature of humanity.
In this case “Antenna” is themed around love – both lost and found, as well as cherished and scorned. Filed under Pop, Electronic and Indie, for commercial, and certainly not for artistic purposes, I can truly say that this is Soldier Rye’s best project to date, and certainly three steps up from his 2014 release, “Earth Sentence”.
The depth of songwriting, the expansive musical arrangements and the dynamic singing, displays a majority and confidence not found prior to this release. At least in my book. The artist has filled the recording with groovy and funky rhythms, jazz and ambient flavors, as well as an alternative rock edge in some instances.
If there is any justice in this cruel and unfair world, Soldier Rye will soon become one of music’s universally respected artists. His versatility is unparalleled in today’s pop scene. This man exudes copious amounts of charisma on every track included here.
He has a rare ability to blend genres in a uniquely approachable manner, and I can confidently state that he is the real deal. “Antenna” is a true underground classic; though firmly entrenched in modern musical techniques, there’s a tremendous amount of relevancy to past musical genres and the amount of imagery this work evokes is absolutely amazing.
Part of what I liked about Soldier Rye, is his ability to sound at home in a variety of styles, and he nails everything he goes for in this recording. It’s really hard to find an album without a single mediocre track, but “Antenna” is just one good song after another. The minute the title track opens the proceedings, you’re swept away by the poignancy of the vocal and electronic soundscape.
Not to mention the sweeping chorus and sultry percussion. “Cookie Cutter” takes a complete left turn sonically, and dives into a funky electric piano motif that is beyond gorgeous. Again, the chorus here is a killer. Radio wishes it had this type of songs to dish out to adult listeners.
But wait, it gets even better, as the grooves come at you from multiple angles. The mid-tempo “Time Waits For No One”, is a stunner both musically and vocally. And when Soldier Rye reaches the soaring chorus, I have a confirmed idea in my head, after only 3 tracks. If this dude set his mind to hook writing, he would be one of the most sought after in the major league business.
Soldier Rye knows how to manipulate a melody into an irresistible addiction. He of course, is ably assisted by Producer Mark Einhorn and Engineer Andrew Flores who co-wrote these songs with him. As he is in the background vocals department, where Kirsten Rea throws in her smooth voice.
The urgent electric guitar on “9th Sign”, is nothing short of mesmerizing, while the piano and rhythm achieve much the same on “We Found Us”. But there is plenty to love on this album. Innovative and fresh with classic spice, “Comfortable” slowly drags you into its aural web until Soldier Rye’s falsetto deals out the killer blow.
This album is a game changer. It crosses so many different flavors in a way like no other. This has to be the most underrated and slept on recording of 2018. Which is confirmed by the epically orchestrated, “Eyes Of Love”, and the album closer, “Afterworld”. Tour de force creativity. Soldier Rye is killing it with “Antenna”!