We Reviewed the New EP From Henry Ryeder – Boy Image

Arriving on a bed of warm, jangled guitar, the new EP from New York’s Henry Ryeder, Boy Image is a joyous foray through a variety of genres, moods, and aesthetics that could loosely be described as bedroom pop.

If that term conjures images of dark and smoky rooms, hand-rolled cigarettes, and undiagnosed mental health conditions, it’s probably something to do with the litany of artists that think anything underproduced can be considered bedroom pop. Thankfully, that just simply isn’t the case for Ryeder.

Instead, Boy Image is a record filled with camp bombast and constantly shifting ideas that keep the listener guessing from what track to the next. There are echoes of Black Kids in the anthemic opener “Childhood Shuffle” while later offering “Love Aint No Open Door” harbours shades of The Strokes.

In lesser hands, such eclecticism might feel forced, or trite. Yet it’s clear that such shifting aesthetics come naturally to Ryeder and as such, Boy Image drips with an understated brand of New York cool. It’s the same sense of cool upheld by the city’s indie acts such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs or the aforementioned Strokes.

While those bands relished in a kind of ‘00s nihilism however, Ryeder’s indie is buoyant, and optimistic, relishing instead in feelings of hope and of positivity. It’s evident in track’s such the eponymous “Boy Image” or closer “2022”. Even “Hey Suicide” seems somewhat hopeful given its subject.

The result is a record that’s as impressive as it is optimistic, and that feels as classic as it does contemporary. Not afraid to wear his influences, but never straying into the realms of imitation, Henry Ryeder is an artist full of promise and well worth keeping an eye on.