The song The Weary Kind has been a huge success for Ryan Bingham. In 2010, he won the Academy Awards (aka as the Oscars) and a Golden Globe Award for the theme song from Crazy Heart. The year thereafter, the song added a Best Song Written for Visual Media award at the Grammy Awards. This is over a decade ago, but Bingham is still a very highly reputed musician (and actor, by the way). On 11th August 2023, he has released a new EP, Watch Out For the Wolf. A good opportunity to have a deeper listen to his music.
Ryan Bingham – About The Artist
George Ryan Bingham was born on 31st March 1981 in Hobbs, New Mexico. The US-American singer-songwriter is mainly doing Americana and roots rock music, but also touches pure country songs here and there. He grew up in several places in Texas and finally turned into a professional artist in 2007, the same year he released the album Mescalito via Lost Highway. While this album did not work out too well commercially, his 2009 release Roadhouse Sun already made it to the Top 20 of the US Country Album Charts. His highest chart placement so far has been the 2010 album Junky Star, which just missed the top of the Country Album Charts by one spot.
His following released did not work out much worse, but partially ranked in other genre charts. His last one, American Love Song (2019), for example, has been a fourth placed album in the US Folk and the US Indie Charts.
Ryan Bingham – Watch Out For The Wolf – Track by Track
The seven track EP lasts 24 minutes.
1. Where My Wild Things Are
From the very first moment, the album feels rough, rural, special. The rationale behind it is quite clear: Bingham recorded the EP in a lonely cabin in Montana. The song is inspired by the loneliness, the nature, the stars in the sky – or how Bingham names it in this opener
Up onto this mountain where all my wild things areThis is where I sleep at night, out underneath the stars
Not only due to that reason, the song feels like the heart and the soul of this unusual seven song recording.
The second song, Automated, has a fascinating, unique sound. The background sound feels screaming, squeaky – but they also add a lot to the song, while the “really old Gibson acoustic guitar” as the artist describes in the press kit is rather monotonously strumming. This leads to a somehow psychedelic feeling as well. Very intense and atmospheric song.
Even thought the lonely cabin did not feature too many instruments (the guitar already mentioned, a MIDI keyboard, an electric guitar and a mandoline), Bingham managed to create a very versatile sound, just on his own. Fascinating.
Instrumental is… You guess it. The song starts like a small ditty, but then also has some electric guitar sounds. 110 seconds of relaxing before the next song.
5. River of Love
While Where My Wild Things Are has been the only single release of the EP before its publication, fans at least got a snippet of River of Love as a warm-up beforehand. The song is very melodic and joins quite a range of Americana genres. The vibe and heartbeat of the song feels like country music, even though the main theme rather feels like a straight, not too exciting folk track. Here and there the guitars pop up and give a rough, dirty rock music touch as well. Nice!
6. The Devil Stole My Style
Apart from the instrumental interlude, The Devil Stole My Style is the shortest song of the EP. The beautiful listen is an amazing piece of dark country. The song is indeed a bit of scary. Great atmosphere.
7. This Life
Live the best the of this life is the main phrase of the last song. Bingham is whistling in the chorus. Overall, this song is definitely a happy ending. Nice, easy song with beautiful work on the guitars.
Ryan Bingham – Watch Out For The Wolf – Spotify
Here is the EP on Spotify:
Ryan Bingham – Watch Out For The Wolf – My View
Watch Out For The Wolf is a typical “the more you listen to it, the more you love it” release. The stories are cool, the arrangement of the songs is fun – I overall really appreciate listening to this EP. Six nice and very different songs form a really nice EP in here. Well done.
Favorite Song: River of Love
Country EPs Reviews 2023