“Emily” by Ryan Rickenbach is a powerful pop rock song that caught my attention from the beginning.
The initial guitar notes are homey and calm but don’t let that mislead you. Quickly, Rickenbach goes into an extremely funky rock beat driven by bass, drums, and some glorious cowbells. I love his voice. He is clearly a performer - you can hear the emotion and flirtatious energy in his tone throughout the song. The deep lyrics go from deep concepts of “time is a thief,” to the exciting energy of “dancing all night with my high heels on” as he tells Emily that she’s got “the makings of a shooting star.” The funky guitar solo adds another strong rock element to the song. The audio is paired with a very artistic music video akin to the styling of a Wes Anderson film. There’s color, a cloudy beach, and much of the exact meaning is left up to interpretation.
Ryan Rickenbach is the self proclaimed “little king of cosmic folk. He explains the inspiration for this title comes from what his name means in Gaelic : “little king.” Cosmic folk is “a unique expression of the universal”, says Rickenbach. “I think folk music is less defined by its sound than its themes. By engaging with a more psychic perspective, ‘cosmic” seemed an appropriate qualifier. I do not think my thoughts are special, but I do strive to express them in a special way.” “Emily” is Rickenbach’s third release as a part of his upcoming first full-length record.
Written by Annika Johnson, edited by Hannah Schneider