RYAT is a sonic blend of two parts. The first, being Christina McGeehan, the vocalist who could charm the pants off a guard at Buckingham Palace with her soothing vocals and manipulations of sound. The other, Tim Conley, plays part-time producer (and full-time boyfriend to McGeehan) as he carefully crafts plush soundscapes to compliment his lady’s soft lyrics. 2009’s aptly titled Street Noise Orkestra existed as just that, where common sounds meshed with electronic hums to craft something of a street-laced musical. While the release was just as playful as it was palatable, it lacked any real middle of the road slash mainstream acceptance. Enter Avant Gold.
Avant Gold holds a new venture into the realm of Electro-Pop for the duo, perhaps due in part to the addition of Greg Augenblick as co-producer on the project. From the moment Avant Gold opens, it’s clear the experience will be different from Street Noise Orkestra. “In Your Face” houses some 80s slickness with 90s aggression, as sneaky snares mesh with other percussion to embrace McGeehan’s haunting vocals. “The Gaze” follows, a very M.I.A.-esque offering that reminds us of RYAT’s ability to experiment with multiple sounds in one consistent melody. The remaining tracks (nine on the album in total) are a blend of the Orkestra moments mixed with some progression into the world of Pop. Not a giant leap, per se, but a small step for RYAT-kind.
While some songs are a little intense (“Superficial Fiction” is one Beth Gibbons short of a Portishead production), others like the sweet-sounding “Bells” and the clean “Not For this Lifetime” could be a move into a more Pop-friendly realm for this pair should they choose to go that route.
Whether swimming the mainstream or remaining the best kept secret, RYAT maintains their envelope-pushing ways on Avant Gold. However, if it’s more blissful noise you’re looking for, RYAT’s Avant Gold Remixed arrives next month.
by Kathy Iandoli
[Picture from here].
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