Kelley Ryan on why she titled her new album Telescope: “The dictionary describes a telescope as ‘an optical instrument designed to make distant objects appear nearer, containing an arrangement of lenses or curved mirrors, by which rays of light are collected and focused and the resulting image magnified.’ I think that’s a pretty good metaphor for writing songs. Also, I just like the way the word sounds.”
For more than 20 years, the effervescent singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and inveterate studio rat has been making distinctive, infectious and wholly original music. Initially recording under the moniker of astroPuppees and subsequently working under her own name, Ryan has released eight highly accomplished albums that combine sterling melodic songcraft with sharp, grown-up lyrical insight.
Operating just under mainstream radar and earning a devoted following of discriminating listeners, Ryan has quietly built a formidable body of work that marks her as an artist to be reckoned with. She’s also earned a reputation as a songwriter’s songwriter, celebrated by critics and acclaimed by her peers.
Ryan’s seasoned skills are typically impressive on Telescope, whose ten original tunes showcase her smart, effortlessly accessible melodic sensibility and her knack for inventive, ear-pleasing arrangements. Such catchy, heart-tugging originals as “The Darkest Stars,” “Cigarette,” “Save Me,” “Pulling For Romeo” and “Passing Through” (the latter co-written with Marshall Crenshaw) are firmly rooted in classic pop tradition, while exploring sophisticated, emotionally complex lyrical territory.