Now that I’ve ventured out in to doing my own music, it’s pretty distant from the music that Yellowcard was making. So if I was going to play a solo slot it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to play this indie folk post-rock sound that I’m making. Also I feel like it’s a cool for these types of festivals to be able to represent Yellowcard in some way. I’m not trying to revive the band or get anyone pumped up for a reunion but those songs are a big part of us and mean a lot to the fans. It’s a nice way to pay tribute to all of those who supported the band over the years. In essence I’m now playing cover songs!
On William Ryan Key’s second solo EP, Virtue, he continues to stretch out his sound and repertoire with one of the better singer-songwriter works of art to date. While Thirteen was primarily based around the acoustic guitar, Key uses a fair amount of piano, electric guitar, and percussion on this recording to fill out the expansive sound that he was likely going for.
“The Same Destination” cuts through the opening bars of faint strings with carefully struck piano chords that help set the table for another brilliant showing from the former Yellowcard front-man. The wall of sound that opens this track features some more electric guitar elements that were missing on his previous EP and serves as a nice opening for the record. “Mortar and Stone” follows the tender opening with some intricately played acoustic guitar and layered vocals from Key. Key’s confidence broods throughout this EP that he self-described on his website as an “exploration of a new sound” and “evolution.” I concur with his line of thinking, as William Ryan Key has delivered another collection of songs worthy of his underrated legacy.
Reader Talas wrote in to let us know that last night in Phoenix, AZ, William Ryan Key announced he’s working on a new EP for release later this year, and he’ll be doing a run of small intimate tour dates. New Found Glory announced that Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” will be on the next version of From the Screen to Your Stereo and they’re aiming for that to come out next year.
When Yellowcard disbanded after their self-titled album, I didn’t think that would be the end of making music for everyone in the band. William Ryan Key proved me right by releasing Thirteen. While I will always miss the combination of his voice with Sean Mackin on violin, this EP helps to fill the void that was left when Yellowcard ended.