By Cynthia Gross
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Nashville, Tennessee-based artist William Ryan Key released his latest song, “Brighton,” on January 5. The track is the second single from his upcoming EP, Everything Except Desire. Clocking in at a little more than six minutes, “Brighton” is a lush, breathtaking soundscape that explores what it means to start over and come to terms with the past.
“I think this song is a manifestation of my desire to set myself free from the constraints of what I’ve created in the past,” explains Key.
Melodic piano, ambient synths, electronic drums, and pulsating bass create mesmerizing sonic textures that provide a fitting canvas for Key’s aching, introspective lyrics and haunting harmonies. “Everything is heaving up these lessons / I never learned before / What a wonder when you find your next one / Maybe more is more,” Key sings.
William Ryan Key notes his new EP is a “deeply personal record” that contemplates heavy topics such as mental health and emotional toxicity. Key enlisted the support of his friends Ryan Mendez, Erich Talaba, and Mike Kalajian to record the record. Just like Key’s sound marks a rebirth for him creatively, the themes explored in “Brighton” mirror that same growth process.
“I don’t mind / We were almost there / That first time / When you almost cared / Weak within / I was calling home / Telling them / You are all I know,” Key sings in the soaring chorus, brimming with vulnerability and longing. “Brighton” is a perfect companion for lonely nights and long road trips with no destination in mind.
“Brighton” reminds listeners that even with new beginnings, pieces of our past stay with us for a lifetime, and they serve to make us stronger and better. “I wondered if it was too far removed from the music people expect to hear from me,” notes Key, referring to his new direction. “The more I pondered it, the more I realized that it might be, and that it was ok if it was.”
“Brighton” is certainly a departure from William Ryan Key’s roots as vocalist and rhythm guitarist for pop punk band Yellowcard, who disbanded in 2017, but even diehard Yellowcard fans will agree that “Brighton” finds Key at his creative best. The track is stunning both musically and lyrically, one that immediately leaves audiences with everything, including desire.
Maryland-based singer-songwriter Cynthia Gross seeks to inspire an awakening to all we are and all we can become. With a passion for language in all of its forms and more than a decade of experience as a professional ghostwriter, she is a light seeker who understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
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