William Ryan Key has announced a brand new EP is coming at the start of 2022.
‘Everything Except Desire’ will drop on February 11 via Equal Vision/Rude Records.
On the upcoming EP, Key says:
“Ever since I started making my own music, I think I’ve been searching for what became ‘Everything Except Desire’. I took a risk and created something completely unlike anything I’ve released in the past,” he beams. “This record felt like a big step for me both as a writer and a producer.”
You can hear the first taste right now in the form of ‘Face In A Frame’, a track that softly shimmers with entrancing synths and beautifully considered vocals. It’s a gorgeous track that demonstrates just how different this release is going to be.
This is what the song is about according to WRK:
“’Face in a Frame’ started with one simple piano loop and ended up opening the door to one of the most creatively inspiring sessions of my career,” he explains. “I tried to stay lyrically honest, while building a track that takes the listener on a journey of self-discovery.”
He has shared part 1 of “Out In The Wild”, a video documenting the origins, inspirations and motivations behind William Ryan Key’s new music. This was filmed during his headlining tour in the US in 2019.
So here it is. Slam Dunk Festival 2019. In all its glory. A feat of brilliance from the organisers who pulled this off but a day of music? in Leeds? Well, there was Live @ Leeds just the other week but this is one festival very close to my heart because it was actually one of the first I ever went to in my teenage years and I’ve been continuing to go back because of its location in Yorkshire, the people I meet, the acts that they’re able to put on and of course, its one that brings my friends together.
Side note on this as well before the review starts, I know this is coming super late but life, work and everything has just gotten in the way of so much lately to the point I’ve had to re-schedule a lot of things and cancel on going to some gigs but I’ve cleared some time here.
Let’s dive straight into Slam Dunk Festival 2019.
So the first moment I heard my alarm, I raced to get ready because this is always my favourite day of the year! I was up roughly at 6.30AM to get a bus to the train station in York at about 8AM, from where I was heading off to Leeds so I could get the very first shuttle to the festival! Luckily this was a reliable day for the train services so thank you to the great train god, in the sky! So, I hopped off in Leeds and it took a little bit of a finding for the shuttle buses to get to the festival as there’s a lot of maintenance being done to Leeds Train Station. I found my way eventually and was one of the first people to be in the queue. The festival staff had to get on board one first because who’d be serving the drinks and operating otherwise? So that was a good move. The only thing I’d say as a tiny complaint was to tell us to start queuing from the end of the queue because of those of us who got here first was waiting for the second or third bus (If there had been a longer queue and I was waiting for an hour or so, it’d be a bigger complaint on my end). The actual route there, it took roughly twenty minutes with the shuttle. So far, so good.
Now getting dropped off at Temple Newsam, I’d never been there before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but the shuttle to get there was about 20 minutes or so max. When I got past the initial bag drop off, I thought the lines would be 2-3 times longer than what they actually were (Somewhere closer to last years.! To my surprise, I was inside the main festival grounds in two to three minutes max! Now I was thinking holy f***! So much better this year because of that one thing. I had no idea what I was in for yet. Also, getting my DSLR through was no problem at all, Slam Dunk Festival is the only festival in the UK that’s pretty lenient on this sort of thing, provided you only have one lens. When I was through to the main festival area, it just looked gorgeous. This was the first real festival I’d experienced with a tent in the field as well so I was pretty excited! But until 11AM (I was in my about 9.20 by this point) there wasn’t so much to do apart from sitting down and have a drink.
When I was able to meet up with a few friends after the main festival gates opened, we decided to explore a little bit. (TIP: Go to the big merch tent after an hour or so next year because that was rammed and there’ll be more chance to meet bands later in the day as well). There was everything from Impericon to American Socks on the day. I actually got a Dream State shirt because Impericon they were running a surprise shirt giveaway for £5 and my friend got two Dream State shirts which were the same size as well! So after a little exploring the festival grounds which were just beautiful, I headed over to the Marshall stage for William Ryan Key to kick off the festival!
Seeing Ryan play live is always heartbreaking because he’s not with the full Yellowcard band although, although watching him is always heartwarming all the same as he conquered his solo set going through ‘Way Away’, ‘Southern Air’ and more Yellowcard classics. There is a little bit of a problem in itself for those who are fans of his newer solo material where I believe he only played one and the rest were Yellowcard in that he could’ve been a little more original on the day but I think he wanted to give the fans what they wanted and that’s understandable. The only thing was Milk Teeth had to follow ‘Ocean Avenue’.
I’d waited roughly two to three years to see Milk Teeth again! I think the last time I saw them was when they had Employed To Serve supporting them. (Who were performing on The Key Club Stage later on the day as well!) There had been an obvious lineup change but I know they’re all the better for it now with ‘Nearby Catfight’, ‘Brain Food’ and more from their catalogue, the punks are ready to take on the world and more where hopefully ‘Stain’ is just the beginning of a new chapter for the young punks.
From here, I met up with another friend who was at for the festival and this is what I love about Slam Dunk, it gets you to meet new people and reunites old friends who come down for it as well! It’s funny as well from here because I almost always go to gigs alone, chat away to people but I’ve never really met up with people at other gigs.
Moving to the Key Club stage, we decided to see what newcomers Hot Milk were all about. They’re a little bit of an enigma because a lot of hate online comes from the fact they’ve hardly been on the scene yet they’re getting support slots for Foo Fighters. In fact I don’t think they had one track out at the beginning of 2019 when they were supporting You Me At Six in the EU and now they were playing a midday set at Slam Dunk festival having been out in the world for less than a year! Nevertheless, they encapsulated just what the scene needs right now. Young, vibrant and energetic people to show fans how to play a show and seeing these tracks from their debut EP, ‘Are You Feeling Alive’ made people just want more. And hopefully, we’ll see more after the festival circuits are over for 2019 where we’ll see them up and down the country soon.
Now, the secret bank Y3K. It was Busted. It’s a clear Year 3000 reference right there. And I have to say, that was a pretty rowdy crowd. For pretty much every song in their set, they powered through as if it was nothing. I mean, having been on touring circuits for years now, I imagine they’d be used to it but honestly, it was a welcomed addition to the festival. Everyone was rowdy in the pits for them, numerous crowdsurfers, a few moshpits, you had to be there to believe it but I can’t’ believe after all these years how hardcore some of these fans were! That’s what nostalgia does to the young!
Moving across to the Acoustic stage, I couldn’t miss Lizzy Farrall. I’ve seen her tour about four or five times now and every time, she just delivers and constantly improves. Her new surprise EP released recently meant a few tracks did make the cut of the set and her voice is magnificent where backed with her band, there’s nothing this artist won’t accomplish in her lifetime. There’s no part three of A Conversation With…. this time but hopefully, I’ll be able to see her full plugged in sound to see what I make of it when she’s on her tour with Tiny Moving Parts at the end of summer in the UK.
From here, I dotted around a few bands, catching one or two tracks from Seaway, As It Is, Waterparks, Simple Plan etc but ultimately I decided to queue up to meet All Time Low. This was more for my friend because she’d waited 10 years to meet them and the look on her face when she did, priceless. I actually made her go before me when we were at the front because I really wanted to see the look on her face more than anything because I cued up earlier than we originally planned which was a good thing as well because it was getting long! To give a sense of it, we just made the cutoff point, only just! That’s how lucky we were!
From here, it was straight back to the Key Club stage for Employed To Serve, possibly the heaviest band on this stage for the entirety of the festival but wow, they never disappoint. With the release of their latest record, ‘Eternal Forward Motion’, the energy in the room was electrifying as they encapsulated the tent in what was a standout set at the festival! So much to the point that when some of the band finished crowd surfing, they didn’t realise their set had ended! That was brilliant but so humbling to see. They were having so much fun, they forgot they had a time limit!
Darting across to catch the last bit of Neck Deep, I did brave the rain where from what I could see it’s only a matter of time before these lads become festival headliners. I mean, the other year, they headlined their own stage so, with their next record, I’d say it’s pretty close. It’s always huge to see ‘Don’t Wait’ off ‘Peace and The Panic’ which for me is the standout track from the record, either that or December but what I do notice here is that Slam Dunk embraces all these bands as a new generation and that’s what they give the platform to and I suppose that’s what makes the festival so different to others in the world where they give a platform to give lesser known bands the exposure they deserve and Neck Deep are a prime example of a band that rose through the ranks.
Heading back to The Key Club for Lights, this was a strange artist for the festival mainly because she’s more Pop than anything. However, the diversity of genres is something Rock has been kind to so to see Lights perform was a true spectacle with her voice commanding the audience was a sight to behold.
For the headlining band of the key club stage, IDKHOW was the band I was thinking should I stay or not? I’m glad I did in the end because hearing the records on Spotify and seeing them play live is two very different things. For one, the artist’s personality comes out far more where for this band, it does give them something to boast as usually, you just see the songs but not for IDKHOW. They’re someone I’m going to be revisiting because of their standout performance as there wasn’t anything I didn’t enjoy and its performances such as that turn the heads of everyone there.
Now… the headliners. All Time Low! Funny fact, back in 2013 when it was my very first Slam Dunk Festival, All Time Low headlined back then as well! Jumping straight into their sets, Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t) received instant recognition, crowd surfers you name it. They truly showed everyone there why they were the headlining band. To celebrate 10 years of nothing personal as well, Stella and A Party Song were played throughout their set where the addition of a never before heard track Getaway Green had the classic Nothing Personal feel to it. It was unlike anything I’d heard All Time Low play in a while, especially since their last few records were a bit more mature for the band, it was definitely a throwback and what was a standout track where hopefully, there’ll be a studio version of the track where they just “dropped it old school”. I’ll never get bored of watching All Time Low live though, they always manage to keep things fresh and the chemistry the members all have with each other is so rare these days, it keeps everyone wanting so much more than what’s given.
Right, now the festival was over, getting back to Leeds city centre was the main objective. I confess I did race for the shuttle buses as I was worried I’d end up stuck at the festival site (which is what happened to another friend of mine, stuck there for roughly two hours because of the amount of everyone there) but thanks to some quick thinking (and running), I managed to get one of the first shuttles back into Leeds and a subsequent train back to York no problem whatsoever!
Overall, it was such a smart decision to move the festival site to Temple Newsam where it was a lot more thought out than in previous years, the only thing I saw was that more toilets would be needed as well as bars because, from my perspective, they were two big problems there.
Slam Dunk Festival is happening this weekend and I’m heading over to the Leeds Date! That means I need to make some plans and fast but thus far, I haven’t remotely decided on who I’m going to be watching from the crowd this year!
But I thought in the run-up to the festival over the next few days, a few posts would be dedicated to the festival and I’d share some memories and some bands you can’t miss out on if you’re going as well!
So, with that in mind, here are five artists I can’t miss at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival (and the stages they’ll be playing on).
5. Employed To Serve (The Key Club Stage)
Employed To Serve are one of the best bands on the rise within the UK at the moment. It came as a massive surprise that they’re playing the festival, especially on The Key club stage but what I love about Slam Dunk Festival is that they put all sorts of varying bands on the different stages and if there’s one thing I know ETS can do, it’s play a damned great set! With the release of their latest record, Eternal Forward Motion out now, then the fresh material will help get the place moving and cement the Woking based band as one of the best British bands in the UK.
4. Lizzy Farrall (Acoustic Stage)
With the transition to the full band, Lizzy Farrall is coming across to the Acoustic stages again where she first hit her stride. I love the acoustic stages at festivals because it’s a chance for artists to be as intimate as possible with the audience and that’s something Lizzy always nails. Her tracks are always so personal to the listener which is the main reason she’s pulled in so many listeners in the first place and with that in mind, it makes her material all the more relatable. With her supporting fellow performer Lights on her UK tour prior to the festival, I’m sure she’ll give a great performance across the dates for the 2019 festival.
3. William Ryan Key (Marshall Stage)
Heartwarming and emotion, it can only be Ryan Key. Since Yellowcard disbanded he’s been on quite a few tours as a solo artist, working with different bands in the studio and working for Marvel Comics (yeah that actually happened). But what I remember the most is the emotion that Ryan gives through his solo work, he connects to the audience in a way only a few bands are able to dream of doing. What’s more is that he’s a true artist where he reinterprets older material he’s been a part of so that he can reach out further to the audience and it that which makes him one of the best artists the organisers could have booked for the 2019 iteration of this festival.
2. Milk Teeth (Dickies Stage)
Now, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to see Milk Teeth. This is mostly because they hardly ever do a North Easterly date! The time before last (because it was only recently they played in Leeds) was at the Key Club in Leeds a couple of years ago as part of a headlining run. But since then, the band have had a few personnel changes and had some rejuvenation for themselves and found that spark which made them so interesting to both listen to and watch. I’m so happy they were able to do this with Stain because it incorporates their best material from the Be Nice & Go Away EP’s and moulds both into something truly remarkable for the Punk scene. Hopefully, we’ll hear this latest track from the band during their set and people will go nuts for them.
As It Is (Monster Energy Stage)
It was between As It Is and All Time Low I think for me. But the reason I’ve chosen As It Is would be because they’re the band I’ve connected the most within recent years and it’s topics such as mental health that they’ve written about which has helped myself throughout the last few years and made me okay with who I am today. But the reason they’re at the top of my list is because of the performances they give and their personas they adopt for their records. Everything about them screams larger than life for themselves to their music in a way no band has been able to do for a long time and it’s from this spectacle that makes them one of the best bands on the lineup for the day.
Slam Dunk festival 2019 takes place on 25th May 2019 at Temple Newsam Park, Leeds and 26th May 2019 Hatfield Park, London. Below you’ll be able to find the full lineup.
Heyyyyyy. Sorry there wasn’t a post last week. I was in a massive work overdrive for my final hand in! Yes I did say final so hopefully, everything’s going to be back to normal ASAP!
We’re going to kick things off with a little bit of With Confidence and their video for “Moving Boxes”. This is coming off their newest record, Love And Loathing which was one of my favourite releases of 2018 thus far.
Now, Woes are one of my favourite new bands at the moment where they just instantly grabbed my attention. I’ve seen them twice so far this year and will see them when they support State Champs in the coming months which I can’t wait for! For now though, things are getting aesthetically pleasing in their brand new single for ‘Over it’.
Now for a little bit of Yorkshire Pop-Punk. And that’s something you don’t hear about often. Check out their latest offering in Can’t Say I’ll Miss You.
Moving on, Blackpool based band Boston Manor are gearing up for their new record release in ‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’ which is set to be released via Pure Noise Records on September 7th. for now though, here’s their latest release in the form of ‘Bad Machine’.
For the next video we’re off to the South Coast. Up and Comers Acres have shared a new video for their amazing track, ‘Medicine’ where the writing of the lyrics for this was a cathartic process for vocalist Ben Lumber.
With Reading and Leeds Festival this weekend, Harrogate hardcore outfit Blood Youth shared the beginning of the latest chapter with their brand new song ‘Starve’. It’s their first material released since last year’s debut record ‘Beyond Repair’ and the first since introducing Matt Hollison into the fold as their full-time bassist. Check out Starve below.
Now as a solo act, William Ryan Key has been pursuing a solo career which is paying off well with the release of his debut EP, ‘Thirteen’. Taken from footage on the road, he has compiled them into the following video for ‘Old Company’.
Recently, Post-Harcore New Yorkers Glassjaw wrapped my a main stage slot at this year’s ArcTanGent festival and to top things off, they have dropped a video which comes from their acclaimed record, ‘Material Control’. Check out ‘My Conscience Weighs A Ton’ below.
And another band that are gearing up for a new record release is Pop-Punker’s WSTR. Identity Crisis is being released on the 31st of August but we’ve been given another look at what’s to offer with the video for ‘Crisis’.
We’ll go Post-Hardcore for the last video on this list. With Hands Like Houses, they’ve gone down a much more rock direction with the track for ‘Monster’. It’s the second single to come from their upcoming fourth record, ‘-Anon’ and is accompanied by a retro horror film feel.
And that’s it for this weeks music video list. I do apologise that there was a gap in last week’s countdown but hopefully it’ll be back to normal from next week.