Creating the church of Ry X - Metro US

Creating the church of Ry X

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The shimmering emotive, genre-bending sounds of Australian singer-songwriter Ry X remerged in May with “Dawn,” his debut from Infectious Records and Loma Vista Records. The artist born Ry Cuming already had a fanbase to call his own thanks to a rather excellently aching 2013 EP and a song named “Berlin,” that even Sam Smith couldn’t resist a cover. Now, side project-happy Ry X brings his solo act stateside, with an astute dedication to immerse his fans into his quietly soul stirring world.

Your music evokes such hushed, intimate vibes —how do you recreate that on stage?

I think the most intimate thing you can do is be fully present with people. That’s the big part of it. I set the tone before anything musically happens, with the lights and the way things feel and the way things sound. I’m into curating a full experience, and intimacy comes with that. It’s hard to play at big festivals when you’re playing for 20,000-plus people. But in that context for us, when we’re playing, no one talks during Ry X. It’s a beautiful feeling.

When did creating a full experience become important to you as an artist? When did you decide that the live experience is more than just music?

It’s a lot of who I am. It’s important that its integrity is what I believe in creatively because everything becomes an expression. I want to spend as much of myself on these things. I see it as giving people a vision of how I interpret things. I think it takes a certain sense of maturity [as an artist] to get to that place.

Did you ever feel like a venue’s vibe was out of your control? Where you just didn’t think the actual location worked with your sound?

Yeah, of course. That happens sometimes, but not as much anymore. In that state, it’s important to go in and just focus on the music and connect. Like, I said, it’s hard to control the context in festivals. All you can do is connect with who you’re playing with and it’s amazing when they connect back. It’s very humbling. Sometimes you lose the ability to stay intimate with an audience, and you just have to be honest. You have to deliver.

Do you think having a background in grunge music and performing that genre live affects your stage presence now as Ry X?

Yeah, even now, I have a couple projects and iterations so I can experience different energies on stage. I’m not stuck in on way of being, I think. I don’t have to walk on stage and just perform. I can feel like I’m honest with who I am. Those experiences from being in grunge bands have definitely helped me stay human on stage.

Can we talk about the single-take tracks on “Dawn,” like “Only”? What drove your decision to record that way?

Half of the album was a single live take. It was just me in a room with one or two mics and a guitar. There’s no way to edit that. There’s no way to make it sound better. I love the finality of that.

If you go:
Oct. 26 at 8 p.m.
First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
2125 Chestnut St.
$17-$19, r5productions.com

Oct. 27 at 8 p.m.
The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston
25 Harbor Shore Dr.
$17 for members and students, $20 nonmembers, icaboston.org

Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Roulette Intermedium
509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
$30, songkick.com

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