While the sunny shores of Florida are home to many a famous pop punk, alt. rock, and emo band, The Ries Brothers (R-EE-s) of Clearwater, FL instead felt compelled to make music in the stylistic veins of more laid back genres like blues rock, funk, and reggae. Given the current state of the world, with people all over the U.S. contending with stores of pent-up anxiety and bouts of cabin fever from months of quarantine, there’s something to be said for turning to melodies of a more relaxed and easy going mood than the often frenetic musical personality built into the typical pop-punk chorus.
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Today, American Songwriter is happy to be sharing The Ries Brothers’ new song, “No More Lonely Nights,” off their forthcoming album, Paint Your Emotion, which is due for release on September 18, 2020.
A sibling duo, Charlie (lead vocals, drums, keyboard bass); and Kevin Ries (background vocals, guitar) complement each others’ musical aptitudes well, as each of the brothers tends to specialize in one half of the songwriting process over the other. “No More Lonely Nights” fits right in with this mode of creativity and displays just how solid the brothers’ natural chemistry works to their advantage as artists.
“My brother and bandmate, Kevin, had this incredibly beautiful riff he was coming up with on his acoustic. As soon as I heard it, I knew we had to use it. It had such a sweet tone that it lent itself to becoming a love song. But, since all of our love songs are never completely positive, we had to put our own twist on it,” said Charlie.
“On this song, as is the case of much of our music, Charlie wrote most of the lyrics, and I wrote the music. Starting with the opening riff (Kevin mentioned), I had been playing around with “Blackbird” by The Beatles and was inspired by the acoustic guitar work on that song. The riff for “No More Lonely Nights” came pretty naturally in a matter of seconds (after that) and became the base for the entire song. Most of the song was recorded on an acoustic guitar, with the exception of the bridge and outtro choruses when we (brought) in the electric,” Kevin said.
Indeed a mostly stripped down affair, “No More Lonely Nights” gets a lot of its sweetness from that approach to the song’s melodic development. Charlie’s vocal tone is given space to breathe in the mix and his natural delivery is nice and clear. But he also gives off the tiniest touch of a slurred hook on the ends of some verses (All I ever wanted, was for, you to call me baby), which keeps the music, and his performance, from coming across too sterile or stiff. That bit of conscientious effort to ensure an extra layer of warmth, even with such a instrumentally minimal and dynamically restrained arrangement, seems like a small element of which to make note. However, it’s actually a great subtle musical supplement to the song’s lyrical message of intentional sincerity during the times when life can try to convince us not to make an extra effort, due to jaded frustration.
“’No More Lonely Nights’ is a love song about finally finding the right person, after going through all the BS of modern dating. It’s a commentary on how fake we can end up being while trying to attract a mate, until we realize our best weapon is to be ourselves,” Charlie said.
The Ries Brothers are clearly able to make artistically and emotionally appealing work, even from very few components. Thus, a full length of multiple songs and an even broader look into the stylistic and performative range of this duo, and through a project with a title like Paint Your Emotion no less, ought to be full of a vast array of emotional vantage points and gripping musical representations to match.
“Turning negative emotion into positive art is what Paint Your Emotion represents to me,” said Charlie. “The idea of redirecting your pain and negative emotions into something positive is a big theme with us, and it is something we aim to live by everyday. We both have had struggles with anxiety and depression in the past, and music was always what got us through. I always had my heroes in my headphones with me so I was never alone. We want to be that voice in people’s headphones – the one that gets them through and shows them that they are not alone.”