[Album Review] Ryan Hemsworth- Alone For The First Time
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by Tiana Feng


Release Date: November 4th, 2014
Label: Ryan Hemsworth

Mister Ryan Hemsworth fascinates me because of how good he is on the interwebs. He’s a master of social media with a fanbase that includes North America, Europe and Asia (the dude has a cult of Asian girl fans).  It’s not a surprise as Hemsworth has create a signature style of electronic music that is both fascinating and well, kind of adorable. Though his latest album is titled Alone For The First Time, this album features a bunch of collaborators including members of his new label/project Secret Songs.

Alone For The First Time plays on the self-deprecation that he’s built his image on. Online, he doesn’t take himself seriously at all and seems available and vulnerable. In the opener “Hurt Me”, the only words are “Don’t you hurt me”, surrounded by sweet candy sparkles. There’s a delicate feeling in “Walk Me Home”, an almost emptiness felt by the listener that makes you want to give the vocalist (17 year old Lontalius) a hug. The following “Snow in Newark” takes itself a bit more seriously, an almost love song, with Dawn Golden taking the vocal reigns. And yes, that is a phone ringing in the background.

The majority of the short 7-track album does feature guest contributors. One of my favourites is Kotomi  on “Surrounded”. The R&B songstress provides a haunting backdrop to the frantic beats.  That’s not to say Hemsworth forgets about himself. He’s truly alone in “Blemish” working his production magic.

Strangely with all the contributors, there’s a sense of emptiness that Hemsworth (probably purposely) leaves you with. This is not the dancey pick-me-up that was Guilt Trips, but the soundtrack to someone standing awkwardly alone at a party.