Some lessons are learned the hard way. For Ry August, infidelity was a vice that took being caught and losing something special to give up entirely. In “Friend Zone Bayou” he recounts his lesson in a fun, bubbly pop song, looking back on the experience as a teaching moment rather than a moral judgment.
When August was caught cheating, his then-girlfriend put him in what he describes as a “friend zone bayou”– a place where he was left to sit and think about what he had done. A bayou being the perfect metaphor for such a place, is swampy, murky, and heavily wooded. In this case, it takes overcoming his personal demons and desires to get out of the woods.
“[I] Was dropped off in this imaginary bayou and had to make my way out of it to learn some valuable lessons. As I struggled to move through the murky waters I finally made it to land, only to be greeted by both women. They had enjoyed my strenuous journey I so deserved. I really did care but sometimes short term gratification reigns supreme and you make a costly mistake,” writes August.
While the lyrical content sounds intense on the surface, he’s able to recall what he’d done with honesty, integrity, and a bit of humor to show how far he’d come in his self-reflection journey. It’s also all laid out over a bright, summer-y sounding pop soundscape, falling somewhere between Post Malone’s upbeat tracks and the sunshiney bops of Surfaces. There’s a clear mix of influences here, ranging from indie bedroom pop to flares of R&B, satisfying any listener coming from any musical background. “Friend Zone Bayou” is an apology, cautionary tale, and danceable beat all rolled into one.
Ry August has been writing, recording, and performing music for 12 years. Under his previous pseudonym, RKS, he released “Just Wait on It,” but has since changed his name, moved to Los Angeles, and began working on new material.
Written by Jess Ward