Land - Song Notes

“Land” Release Notes: As the concept for Atlas was first coming together, I spent a great deal of time imagining what each of these Atlas EPs would sound like. I knew right away that "Land" should sound intimate, simple and as organic as possible. I knew that I wanted to limit the writing and production to only a handful of acoustic instruments and it felt important to record the majority of these songs live. As I wrote and recorded Land, I thoroughly enjoyed living in that quiet, focused and limited head-space, but I was reminded on a daily basis that restraint requires a lot patience. A ton, in fact! Eventually, these songs found their way to the surface and I'm so thankful they did, as they are some of the most intimate I’ve ever written.

Since this is a collection of songs about our home-planet, I recommend listening to them in your favorite little corner of Earth. Whether that's in your favorite room at home, or on a gorgeous beach somewhere, or in your favorite coffee shop - I hope these songs treat you well wherever you are and that you enjoy 'em as much as I enjoyed making them.

Here's a few song-by-song notes:

1. North - My wife and I recently bought our first house. In the first few days of moving in, I took a break from carrying boxes and wrote this song. It felt only fitting to write a song about our new home, as the first song I've written inside it. I asked my genius violinist friends, Emiko Bankson and Kumiko Bankson to be my guest string “quartet” and they played SO beautifully. They performed all of the strings on this song and I couldn’t be more pleased with their gorgeous contribution!

2. South -  This is a simple song about a complex thing- an exploration of the many definitions of truth. It’s also very much about being lost.

3. East - This song was inspire by Gerardus Mercator: a cartographer in the 1500’s who first assembled a book of maps and called it “Atlas.” I wrote this as a fictional story about his childhood, written from his perspective. I had this map on my screen as I wrote this song.

4. West - This song is about distance. It’s a love song about the challenges of being apart. I asked my friend, Eva Holbrook to be my guest and record a bit mandolin on this one. She did such a lovely job! Her band, “Shel” is great - be sure to check ‘em out!!

Thank you so very much for your patience as these songs took their sweet ol’ time. I hope you enjoy this collection of “Land” inspired songs. “Oceans” - my next EP (all instrumental pieces of music!) is coming soon!!

Much Love, Ryan - Sleeping At Last