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Review: Ben Ryan’s debut EP ‘Abacus’ is about the truth of pain and love

Ben Ryan, who is a commendable risktaker from Vancouver, Canada, just released his first musical project.


Ben Ryan
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Ben Ryan opens up his newest album with ‘Peru’, a sombre song about distance. He’s experienced sleepless nights, pain, and everything else one goes through when dealing with a breakup. That’s what makes him relatable. We’ve all been through gut-wrenching separations; if you haven’t yet, it’s probably coming. On the hook of ‘Gold’, he sings about his lover taking him home to hypnotize him. ‘Never Go’, the previous track, seems to be a continuum of that idea.

There’s something about the piano tempo on ‘Home’ that reminds me of my favourite Panic! At The Disco songs. Personally, I loved the way ‘Roof & Rain’ begins. It feels like the scene in any given movie when a couple reunites. They haven’t seen each other for a long time. They are happy to be in each other’s presence.

The last record ‘Diamond Mine’ is also from that movie I mentioned above. In the following frame, everything is alright. Everyone is smiling. The lovers are heading back to their place of comfort—to the treehouse where they first met and shared their first kiss. The piano is an incredible stringed musical instrument. It’s been tying stories and visuals together since the 1700s. No wonder Ryan taught himself how to play it when he was a young boy.

Overall, Ben Ryan has a good voice, but I’d like to hear him take it there, vocally. I think he is capable. Otherwise, he is alright with me. Here’s a word from the artist about the album.

“The title of the album may seem vague, as many album titles are. I called it Abacus because before pursuing music, I was studying Economics at The University of British Columbia. Feeling unhappy and burnt out, I decided to take some time off to record this album and really discover who I am as a person. To me, an abacus is a symbol of identification, they are supposed to be a tool used for math, but you only ever see them in play areas at doctor’s offices. This album is inspired by the idea of pursuing life as an entertainer as opposed to a calculator.”

Listen to the Vancouver, Canada-based musician’s independently released six-track debut EP—Abacus—below. Like many of us, he was introduced to music by family. His mother’s record collection is to credit. Ben Ryan’s extended play is available everywhere now.

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