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Bill Ryder-Jones

England's Bill Ryder-Jones is a musical polymath with a decades-long career as a producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer/songwriter with several acclaimed solo records to his credit. In 1996, while still in his early teens, he became the lead guitarist for psychedelic pop outfit the Coral, with whom he spent 12 years before embarking on a solo career that saw him composing scores for films like 2011's Bed and 2012's Piggy and releasing more song-based solo albums like 2011's ambitious If... and 2016's acclaimed West Kirby County Primary. In addition to his own work, Ryder-Jones has also amassed an impressive résumé as a producer and session musician, working on records for acts like the Wytches, Michael Head, and Arctic Monkeys. He released his fifth solo album, Iechyd Da, in 2024. Upon his departure from the Coral in 2008, the Merseyside native began recording a series of songs and instrumental demos. Influenced by the likes of Ennio Morricone, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, and the pastoral English folk of the late Nick Drake, Ryder-Jones provided the score for the 2009 short film Leave Taking, which was directed by longtime friend Laurence Easeman. The compositions made up the bulk of his debut EP, A Leave Taking Soundtrack, and were followed by further forays into film soundtracks for It’s Natural to Be Afraid (2010), Bed (2011), and Piggy (2012). In November 2011, Ryder-Jones released his full-length debut for Domino, If..., which was based on Italo Calvino's 1979 novel If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. The intimate and far more song-oriented A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart followed in 2013. Over the next few years, his studio efforts were focused on producing other artists like Hooton Tennis Club, the Wytches, and Saint Saviour, while he also became a touring member of Arctic Monkeys. Moving from the more minimalist folk style of his previous album, Ryder-Jones sought a heavier, more band-oriented sound for his follow-up. Written in his childhood bedroom at his mother's home and recorded in Liverpool, 2016's West Kirby County Primary was a deeply affecting album that delved into the singer's personal life. Returning in 2018, Ryder-Jones again looked inward on the introspective Yawn, a low-key guitar-based indie rock album whose themes revolved around everyday life situations. Expanding on that album, he offered an alternate version of the same group of songs in stripped down acoustic piano format on 2019's Yawny Yawn. Over the next few years, Ryder-Jones alternated between producing acts like Michael Head, Saint Saviour, and Brooke Bentham and laboring over his fifth solo album. His most elaborately produced LP to date, 2024's Iechyd Da (a Welsh term meaning "good health") was an emotionally resonant and diverse collection, touching on sonic themes from throughout his career, from lush, string-laden ballads to jangling folk-rock and pop.
© James Christopher Monger /TiVo


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