RY X dives into the intimate and vulnerable depths of his breathtaking, beautiful third album ‘Blood Moon,’ a stunningly raw and achingly honest display of the heart and soul laid bare.
Stream: “A Thousand Knives” – RY X
It’s always a deep process, that of putting your stripped heart onto pages and tapes for others to hear.
If there’s one thing the past few years have taught us, it is that above all else, our time on Earth is precious: All we have is now. We don’t know what the future holds; we don’t know how long we’ll have with the people we love the most. The only thing we can do with certainty is to live in the moment: To cherish those around us, and make the most of our time together. Intimate and ambient, stunningly raw and achingly honest, RY X’s third album is as beautiful as it is heart-wrenching: A collection of moving, cinematic songs delving into the depths of connection and disconnect, Blood Moon is a vessel of unfiltered, unwavering humanity: A vulnerable and visceral display of the artist’s naked heart and soul laid bare.
I lay you down right here in the shadows
I watched over you
I prayed for your breath right here in the shallows
I watched over you
Like a thousand knives…
I begin to move in slow
Better fall to make you float
Heighten me, a quarter low
Nights in circles
Released June 17, 2022 via Infectious Music Ltd / BMG, Blood Moon is the captivating third album from Australian born, Los Angeles based singer, songwriter and producer RY X. Arriving three long years after 2019’s acclaimed Unfurl, Blood Moon sees RY X – born Ry Cuming – dwelling in a space of quiet contemplation, and bringing those meditations to life with vivid color and stirring textures. Long known for his music’s ambient warmth and atmospheric charm, RY X makes ethereal music alive with the human spirit: His songs, dating all the way back to 2013’s breakout single “Berlin,” have an uncanny knack for seeping under the skin, and finding a home deep in our bones.
This holds especially true for Blood Moon‘s thirteen tracks, all of which are united in their focus on intimate relationships. “I think there’s a whole universe within the dynamic of your relationship with a lover,” the artist explains. “There are many of those very honest, raw conversations on this record. It’s not all about the same person, but it is about the same feelings, the same concepts.” Delving into himself, the spiritual world, the idea of the “divine feminine,” and so much more, RY X is an open book on a record that brings us closer than ever to the man behind the music, and in turn, to ourselves.
The album’s name speaks directly to its thematic depths.
“Blood Moon is a title that calls in and honors a time of gravity and importance,” RY X explains. “A time for deeper reflection, for spirit to be present, and for shadow to be examined and integrated. It felt like the title held a weight that the songs did too; nothing else felt close to the sense of completeness that this title held for it, so I trusted that.”
Hold the light
Feel my sign here
To the line
Feel my warm tears
Does anybody really know me?
Throw my name into the fire
Lead me down into the cold
Keep me down into the night
I don’t wanna let you go
Highlights abound on this singular, breathtaking album: From the beautifully bittersweet, disarming entrance “Let You Go” and its plea for togetherness and preservation, to the deep pangs of heartache in the haunting “Hurt,” to the delicate nuance within the filmic soundscape of “Your Love,” the sheer intensity of “Borderline” and its raw upheaval of love, and the vast, yet insular wonder of “Colorblind” (a collaboration with Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and producer Ólafur Arnalds), Blood Moon is truly spellbinding through and through.
heart of ache pour your name
through your fingers to my veins
caught in rage goddess stained
plead your hurting bleed like rain
I waited, you warned me
I’ve fallen in your hands
my raging your woman
I’ve fallen in your trance
did I hurt you darling
when i called out your name
you leaned in darling
the blade was in my hand
– “Hurt,” RY X
“A highlight for me is the way the album came together as a whole,” RY X says. “The integration of new sounds and feelings into a form that felt cohesive and expansive at once. I love different songs for different reasons… ‘Come Back’ and ‘Trouble’ have such a deep sense of rawness and vulnerability that I love, and ‘Let You Go’ and ‘Colorblind’ hold these powerful rhythmic elements that feel new and I love. Each song has its own moments of strength and magic.”
I couldn’t help the feelings
Cornered in the fading light
Underneath, you wait here
Falling in your haunted eyes
Your love, your love, your love, your love
Your love, your love
I’ve had enough
Your love, your love, your love, your love
Your love, your love
Running out of time
– “Your Love,” RY X
Born out of the artist’s innermost depths, Blood Moon is intensely intimate, raw, and pure.
RY X’s record can perhaps best be appreciated as a soundtrack to love’s reckoning: For truly, these are thirteen of the most beautiful, heartbreaking love songs to come out of the year.
“It’s always a deep process, that of putting your stripped heart onto pages and tapes for others to hear,” RY X shares. “My process of creation is always a personal one, based on my want to delve deeper into my inner world, my emotional universe, sensual universe, spiritual universe. From that place I make work that seems to inherently resonates others. Based on the beautiful rawness of the shared human experience. If i can connect, touch, inspire others from that place, then my work is done.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside RY X’s Blood Moon with Atwood Magazine as he goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his third album!
Stream: ‘Blood Moon’ – RY X
:: Inside Blood Moon ::
Let You Go
This song formed from the beginnings of many others, tumbled itself into being, and became one of the centerpoints of the album energetically for me. An anchor in seas of different sounds, both emotionally and sonically. It intuitively felt right to be the first songs shared in the journey of this new body of work, there is a rawness and honesty in this cry for a return of love, or the want not to let it slip. It carries a power and sensitivity at once, and I like that it leads the album.
A Thousand Knives
“A Thousand Knives” was one of the first songs I wrote and finished for the album. I felt an immediate kinship with it, a connection that stays with me still. It took on the shape of a revelatory lament of love, almost in premonition form around a love that wasn’t meant to be, but one that carried deep weight and gravity. As I leaned in to record it, I knew I wanted it to express both the rawness and the beauty my heart felt about the situation I was swimming in. I tracked the guitar and vocal live in one take through an old Studer desk, carrying all the hiss of analog weight with it, then built stacks of vocals and synth drones around it. I layered flamenco style claps and percussions then built drum machine sequences and sounds to deepen its expression. I asked dear old loves to sing it with me and I like that it is now impressioned with all of that essence as it goes into the world.
Late one eve, I sat in a small restaurant in Reykjavik, surrounded by some friends from Iceland. One of them was Olafur Arnalds. I had just finished directing videos for some of the songs from the new album with our friend Benjamin Hardman. Olafur and I met to say hi and connect while I was there on the island. As we wrapped dinner, and were about to say goodbye, we looked at each other somehow knowingly and decided we should leave the group to walk up the street through the gentle fog and soft street lights to the edge of the sea where he has a studio. We gave ourselves a few hours to create, with no expectations on where it would go. I was leaving at 6am the next morning, and it was already late. A moment of free expression for us within the limits of time. We began playing drums together, laying rhythms over one another. then we sat at pianos and synthesizers and ran sounds through old tape machines. these feelings and this song quickly began to emerge. I arrived at a microphone and in late night delirium the words began to spill out. ‘Hold it all in your body, hold it all in your mind… say it all in your silent tears’ my mind began to swim around a deep love with no way through to the other side of a karmic connection. I stacked these hums of voice and heart and it suddenly felt a different way, deeper, ready to belong on this album.
‘I can take you there, through the dark to the borderline’ The borderline of one’s of choice to let go into love. I have the willingness to take you through challenge, guide through pain, swim through the unknown. I will lead you to the edge, and you then have the choice to jump in. I love the nostalgia that grew and bloomed in this song. And the striking difference between the aching of the lyric and the heavy form of rhythm in the song and production.
“Your Love” was written about a connection carrying a breadth of intimacy and challenge as it swirled itself in repetition. A love with gravity that bled into the beauty and struggle both, and one that wasn’t aligned to be. A cry of the heart, in essence. It’s rare for me that a song almost writes itself, comes about into form all at once. This one did all in one afternoon. The production formed in the process of experimentation with drum machines and organic instruments and how they can blend together. The video was directed and conceptualized by me and shot in Iceland with the incredible dancer choreographer duo of Imre + Marne Van Opstal, along with the wonderful photographer Benjamin Hardman as my DP and confidant.
One of the first creations of this new album in my writing and production process. It was the beginning of new elements and ideas blended with sonics of the past. Drum machines cascading with old nylon string guitars, a meshing of new elements sonically. Claps from salty hands and analog tape hiss as a backdrop to it all. I loved the way it all fit together. It was written about the dichotomy between what is present in space between lovers, and what stays in the mind unspoken
“Spiral” took on many forms as it birthed itself into form for the album. It was a song born of the idea of pushing into the proximities of collapse to find what is more beautiful and perhaps more divine. It took time to melt together some of the subtle complexities and arrangements sonically, and for a moment I wondered if it belonged among other more raw works beside it. But it always beckoned to me and resonated when I listened, and I aim to trust that intuition. It consolidated itself among other songs that followed, In some ways cutting new pathways of sound to explore.
I was honored to co-create the video concepts directed by the wonderful artist and photographer Rob Woodcox. His work has always inspired me, and we had been wanting to work together for some time. He took two dancers and shot in the famous architectural work of Luis Barragan in Mexico City. The vibrancy of the light and space of Casa Gilardi meeting the almost ceremonialist movement of the dancers in beautiful ways.
Dark Room Dancing
This song began in the swirl of a beautiful few days immersion with dear soul friends. Sleepless nights of dance, sunrises, medicine, play, revelry. There was a coming together of new people among the swirl, and somewhere in between this very special person emerged. Something deeply unexpected. A feeling of knowing and connection that might have otherwise been missed outside this container. Moments of closeness and feeling alone together among the group, tucked in the low light, moving bodies, immersing in the beauty of letting the hearts and bodies lead, with minds tucked into the sleepless distance. ‘You and I corner, you and I in a dark room dancing’… The romanticism of full letting go into temporal magic.
One of the most fragile songs on the album. I almost didn’t include it. It felt so raw, not just in the lyrics, but in the performance. “Kiss me darling, I bleed in your name.” A song of the kind of Devotion that swims into the realms of the Sufi Poets. Of the metaphysical. I recorded this live, guitar and vocal, imperfections becoming the perfect emblem of the open heart I felt. There is almost a sense of desperation in the delivery for me when I listen. One that i probably couldn’t capture again.
If you could choose another path of life, than the one that had you here in this moment, the one stained with love, and grief, of beauty, and challenge, would you. Would I? One of the most intimate and honest sharing on this album lyrically, speaking in truth of a soft heart yearning in exploration of the idea of coming back to live the same life again as a soul into this world and questioning, would I align differently in specific moments of my past?
The cry to know a lover more, ‘tell me what you want, when your open wide, tell me who you are now, when youre caught inside.’ When you’re caught inside the self, inside the mind. Tell me your most intimate thoughts, tell me the things you keep secret. There was something new about this. something I hadn’t done before in my writing. And I loved where it took me. Non linear loops of guitars and kick drums fumbling together.. then these release points as synths took the lead of melody and structure. side’
All in Words
Can we breathe, let it go, start again. calls and questions of the heart ‘the fault lines in your faith’ + ‘we’ll fight to mend’ saying Im willing. Will you meet me here, in this place, and tell me everything. you need yo express. Can I understand you better, and can we learn how to swim together in this place, even among the challenge. A lament and call to action at once.
I also loved how the production took shape here. Me exploring more in some of the ways I do in my other projects. layering organic created rhythms and heavier kicks. Pitched guitars and treated pianos. Droning synths with filters opening around it all. finding ways for it all to swim together
“Trouble” was recorded in the depths of a still late night by candlelight. A call of the heart for the pulsing weight of intimacy and love. Knowing there is no way to pull back from the gravity of what is to come in beauty and pain both.
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📸 © Clifford Usher
:: Stream RY X ::