[vimeo 130133227 w=500 h=264]
1. The artist: LA-based Leroy Ryder makes the sleazy, opium-infused, beach music your grandma warned you about. Think skimpy bathing suits, cheap beer, and ethnically ambiguous sunburns. The guy is currently writing and preparing to record a full length when he’s not busy feeding his roommate’s cat or scrounging for cash on the sidewalks.
2. The song: “Tree Lined Streets” is the most traditional rock oriented track on the EP and sounds like it could have come from a Lollipop or Burger Records band. The song opens with some high jangly guitars which are quickly joined by a bass and a driving clav reminiscent of Bill Withers. Leroy’s vocals slide in off-kilter and slightly off-key, to a curiously seductive effect. The lyrics themselves are dotted with quips like, “The tattooed girl, suggests I seize the day” — an ode to the plethora of Venice Beach girls who express their individuality with cliches like “Carpe Diem” inked on their bodies.
3. The video (directed by Joey Breese): The vision with this video was to introduce the man that is “Leroy Ryder”. As a new artist looking to shoot his first video, he gave Joey the bold task of creating his music’s image. With significant input from the DP, Manuel Branaa, the three of them visually profiled the artist and took the audience into his bizarre world. Phrases like “tropical hangover” and “washed up rockstar” served as their map.
4. The EP: Ryder’s debut EP Casual Encounters eagerly straddles the line between lazy, summer hook-up grooves and psych-garage sounds — while still maintaining high-quality production. The bass lines are clear and catchy, the guitars avoid getting bogged down by too much reverb, while the synths add a pleasant marine layer of haze. The EP plays like a former summer lover whose company you enjoyed while lounging on beaches, rooftops, parks, and in bed.