LISTEN: Ryan O’Reilly Molds Endearing Lo-Fi Power Pop On “To Be Cruel”

Ryan O’Reilly, from Winchester, UK, is a songwriter whose Irish parentage & English upbringing combine to create a passionate storyteller. A meandering path began with performing at open mics in Toronto as a teen, studying poetry in Dublin, street-performing on London’s Portobello Road, and moving to Berlin in 2015.

O’Reilly began gaining a reputation from fan-booked tours across Europe & Canada, also learning his trade by opening tours for the likes of Arkells & Lissie, joining acts like Tift Merritt & Anaïs Mitchell on-stage to perform and embarking on tours of Europe & Canada with The O’Pears, Adam Barnes, Jadea Kelly & Hayley Reardon.

Intentional or not, there’s something absolutely brilliant about opening a song about wanting more heartbreak and misery from love with a very Smashing Pumpkins/early Emo guitar part. In “To Be Cruel” Ryan O’Reilly uses some self-deprecating and tongue-in-cheek comedy ala Father John Misty to tell the story of asking a new lover to please be cruel. With the chorus “I want you to be cruel/I wanna be miserable/I wanna call you up and not get through/I wanna feel the fool, isn’t it beautiful?/no one will ever hurt me the same” he appears to paint a portrait of just asking someone for exactly what you’ve gotten and expect to get in the future. Ryan’s songwriting is personable and emotional while sincerely not taking himself too seriously, which can be rare in any generation. 

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