Release Date: Oct 28, 2014
Record label: Last Gang
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
Head here to submit your own review of this album. The life of a producer/DJ is one that is often fantasised and sought after in modern music. Whether you are Hit-Boy being brought out on stage by Kanye West and Jay Z, or Diplo having a hundred twerking ladies as his security team - it seems being slumped over the computer screen for hours on end on Fruity Loops has finally paid off.
Expecting to stand out on the internet is about as optimistic as expecting to be the only person wearing Dr. Martens and heavy-set glasses in Lewisham. It’s the kind of naïve confidence you associate with cats that are coerced into a transport box on the promise of food, only to be forcibly placed on a vet’s table twenty minutes later. We coo after these types, our wide-eyed associates, unsuspecting and pure.
Halifax beatsmith Ryan Hemsworth has somehow managed to produce a followup album to 2013's well-received Guilt Trips in the midst of a seemingly endless tour. Where Hemsworth found the time is unclear, but what's certain is that fans of his debut will find some comfort amongst this new material. At just over 27 minutes, though, Alone for the First Time is far from a saga; you've barely just settled into the album's flow before it's time to leave again.
Bred in a city without a scene (Halifax, Nova Scotia), Ryan Hemsworth found himself on self-guided tours across the fringes of the blogosphere. Quenching a thirst for beats that once sent turntablists to the forgotten racks of the local record shop, Hemsworth keeps an index finger scrolling through the endless pages of SoundCloud — as showcased on his new Secret Songs imprint. This digital method suits Hemsworth, a man who, despite a near constant tour schedule and a habit for career-breaking collaborations, prefers those moments still reserved for his laptop in the comfort of his bedroom.
Ryan Hemsworth has mastered the social web. You can see it in his tweets, which knowingly combine the sad teenager aesthetic with that of the semi-ironic, in-crowd broducer. You can see it in his Secret Songs record club, through which he's cultivated a community of bedroom producers in his likeness and given them access to a large audience. And you can see it on the guest list for his new album, Alone for the First Time, which, despite its name, features contributions from popular Soundcloud artists and Secret Songs amateurs alike.
Ryan Hemsworth has already said that being a producer is a solitary thing. This summer, when he dropped the video for his Guilt Trips cut One For Me featuring Tinashe, it was full of images of Hemsworth alone in his hotel room, alone in a car, alone in front of a computer. But he’s also a producer who is, again and again, noted to be an endlessly plugged-in internet virtuoso.
Last year saw the release of Ryan Hemsworth’s Guilt Trips. It was a well-received second album, on which the sample-fond alchemist from Halifax offloaded a heady bout of screwed’n’chewed electronic pop with dance, hip-hop and experimental tendrils. He’s now following that up, speedily, with Alone For The First Time, a 27-minute, seven-track mini-LP.