Take Myself Back is the latest EP from West Australian artist Ray Ryder who brings southern rock to his country music.
The EP was born after Ryder returned from a 60-date tour of the country, where he trialled his originals in front of live audiences.
“As soon as came back, we went into the studio and recorded it in two weeks,” he said.
“Four of those tracks appear on the Take Myself Back EP.”
The tracks are a mix of upbeat songs and ballads, aimed to appeal to both live audiences and radio programmers.
“For me, the EP was about using the songs that I felt were my style which is southern country rock with a slight pop flavour,” he said.
“Honky Tonk Girl and Take Myself Back are the two upbeat songs, while Love To Hate Me and My Best Friend are more ballads. These are the ones that people really loved and I thought I’d get them out first.”
Recorded in Perth and mixed by Jared Adlam, who will also record Ryder’s upcoming album.
The title track is also the single from the EP and is a feelgood song with a Status Quo feel.
“I wanted to write a song that had that Status Quo feel because sometimes I think I should have been born in an earlier era,” he said.
“The song was written because I feel I don’t fit in sometimes, so I want to take myself back where I would have fit in a bit better and I think we always feel like that at times.”
The ballad Love To Hate Me is a break-up song.
“I see a lot of couples who are together who shouldn’t really be together, they’re just too scared of hurting the other person, so they just stay together,” Ryder said.
“This is about one person breaking up with someone, but they realise they did the other person the biggest favour they could have and know it’s best for both parties.”
For the animal lovers, and anyone who has lost anyone close to them, My Best Friend will move you to tears.
“I wrote it about my dog,” Ryder said.
“I had this German Shepherd and we were best friends for 13 years and unfortunately she passed away suddenly. I was feeling pretty distraught when I wrote that song. Everyone has lost someone special to them, so can relate to that whether it’s a person, friend or an animal.”
The final track and another upbeat track is Honky Tonk Girl, which Ryder wrote with boot scooting in mind. It is also a bit of rebellion against the seriousness of music.
“Sometimes I think music is too serious,” he said.
“I was brought up with Elvis, Bill Haley and the Comets, and The Beatles and this song is meant to make you feel good and want to dance.
“Get out on the dancefloor, shake your booty and let your hair hang down.”
The singer-songwriter said he wanted music lovers to feel like they were listening to a modern version of nostalgia.
“I am a Southern country rock guy and I want them to feel like that’s still around and hopefully they’ll enjoy it,” he said.
“My sound is working class southern country rock and I’m not professing to be something I’m not. I want to play songs I enjoy and that the crowd enjoy. Music’s purpose is to create an emotion and that’s happy or sad. I think people just want to listen to songs and relate to it themselves and it doesn’t always have to be that serious.”