Over the last five years, Ryan Hemsworth has built a reputation as a consistent force in electronic music production both across the internet and behind DJ tables at clubs around the globe. Versatile in making party-ready music as well as poetic compositions, the Halifax native explores the latter of these strengths on his Nov. 4 release, Alone for the First Time.
Alone for the First Time serves as an exercise of Hemsworth’s desire to take his music in a singer-songwriter direction that can be most closely categorized as bedroom pop.
The album proves Hemsworth to be an electronic jack-of-all-trades without a true sense of direction.
Despite a lacking range of vocals, Hemsworth is somewhat successful in tackling a new sound, creating an album that captures an air of nostalgia from start to finish.
Bubbly beats maintain a poppy tone throughout, but do not entirely override the feeling of longing Hemsworth is contemplating. The third track, “Snow in Newark,” is most evident of this.
Still, Hemsworth is at his most impressive when crafting his more intricate beats and enlisting vocal help from others, with perhaps the most fitting coming from Alex G on “Too Long Here.”
Instrumental track “Blemish” is among the best, showcasing that the instrumentals are still the heart of the project.
Alone for the First Time ends with its most impressive track, with Hemsworth finally displaying his hip-hop influences neglected throughout the first six tracks. “Be Myself” is a slow, hard-hitting expedition that displays Hemsworth’s unique brand of bombastic production.
In all, the album is a solid effort but not extraordinary. On Alone for the First Time, Hemsworth taps into new sources of creativity. However, he has still yet to find the best way to capture his wide range of digital music talents into one cohesive sound.
Alone for the First Time is a decent listen, but is furthermore proof that Ryan Hemsworth is still growing and expanding his horizons as an artist.
Tyler Leahy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org