Ryan Hemsworth releasing collaborative EP; hear first single w/ Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan
Electronic musician Ryan Hemsworth has announced a new project, Quarter-Life Crisis, where he collaborated with indie rock musicians for a new EP, producing the music while they wrote the lyrics. "This project has me in the process of going back to when I was a kid when I'd sit down and play guitar for hours and come up with melodies and chords by just messing around," Hemsworth says. "It's something I've been wanting to do for ages. Quarter-Life Crisis is just another way for me to work with artists whose music I really enjoy and listen to all the time."
Those artists include Hop Along's Frances Quinlan, who appears on the first single, "Postcard from Spain," which you can listen to below. While the vocals are unmistakably Frances', they're set to music that veers off in a different direction from anything in Hop Along's catalog, or from her 2020 solo debut Likewise, incorporating a children's choir on the chorus. "This was one of my first attempts at writing lyrics to a fully formed and recorded melody - it's certainly one of the few times I've worked on something collaborating with an artist other than my bandmates in Hop Along," Frances says. "I love the melodies Ryan Hemsworth composes, they're both catchy and intriguing, calculated and dreamy. I was nervous about possibly throwing a wrench into it with my vocals, as I'm so used to writing lyrics along with the chords, but it ended up being a really freeing experience to focus solely on vocal melody, to play with where I could take what was already there, already strong on its own."
"I had a plan going into the Quarter-Life Crisis project," Ryan says, "but Frances really helped radicalize me, this collaboration was kind of the catalyst I unknowingly needed. Working on the arrangement together and with our engineer Ryan Schwabe was the best - I've worked with a lot of people but I felt a serious encouraging push from them. In the end we got this fun mix of live, electronic, soft and hard sounds (And a children's choir on the chorus!). It feels like the basis of my whole project."
The self-titled EP also features contributions from Meg Duffy of Hand Habits, Charlie Martin of Hovvdy, Claud, and Yohuna. As befits a project that cites Bright Eyes as an influence, it's due out on December 4 via Saddle Creek Records. See the cover art and tracklist below.
Quarter-Life Crisis EP Tracklist
1. Waterfall (feat. Charlie Martin of Hovvdy)
2. Comfortable (feat. Hand Habits)
3. Postcard from Spain (feat. Frances Quinlan)
4. You & Me (feat. Claud)
6. Stars (feat. Yohuna)