LIVE PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS
Kentucky’s Rhyan Sinclair is one of those rare songwriters who can simultaneously pay tribute to artists who inspire her and create something entirely new, within one song. In 2018, she released her first solo full-length, Barnstormer and the holiday EP, Marshmallow World. Both were well received and she spent that year and most of 2019 on the road, touring the US.
In the spring of 2022, this impressive new voice in country returns with Letters to Aliens, which continues the theme of a woman on a journey, but this time the vibe is cosmic, seventies-esque folk rock with whispers of traditional country.
The album represents a return to live music after an unexpected 2 year break. Recovery time from a car accident bled into the pandemic lockdown. “I had total writer’s block for the first part of the pandemic. I had all these bits and pieces of melodies and lyrics that I really believed in, but I just couldn’t finish them.” A combination of therapy to work through past trauma, meditation, reading up on ancient astrology and spending time with her dogs helped end her block. “I had to do all of those things in order to be able to continue writing, because I had been going at such a fast pace before the pandemic. I had to grow and heal as a human before I could move forward as a songwriter.”
“The recording process of this album felt like arriving at home,” says Sinclair. “It was the recording process I’d always dreamed of.” Letters to Aliens prominently features Sinclair’s band, The South 65. The band’s high energy musical camaraderie is essential to the album’s signature sound.
One of the most notably impactful elements of Aliens is the personal nature of the lyrics. Sinclair has always found writing to be therapeutic and she describes Aliens as her most revealing and therapeutic album to date. The album has a timeless feel that would be just as relevant tucked between records by The Doobie Brothers, Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt in the 70’s, on a mixtape with Tom Petty and The Pretenders in the 80’s or among recent work by Jason Isbell, Steve Earle or Brandi Carlile.
“This album is a documentation of my human experience,” says Sinclair. “My time capsule, my letter on a balloon, my story thus far. With any luck, these songs will reach others who feel a bit like outsiders, misfits…aliens. I hope that people listen to this record and feel like at least a few of the songs understand them. That’s always my goal. I hope it takes them on a journey, and maybe even inspires them to get a little closer to their inner child. I’ve found so much confidence and freedom in facing the traumas from my past and moving through them, instead of running from them like I did for a while. I can only hope that one of my songs could possibly inspire someone else to do the same, even in the smallest way.”
Look for the release of Letters to Aliens on March 4, 2022
"Dragon Spirit" is the first single from Rhyan's forthcoming album, Letters to Aliens, out March 4, 2022.
-In support of Lillie Mae at The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, California
and The Burl in Lexington, KY (January 2018)
-In support of The Dead South at The Burl in Lexington, KY (September 2017)
-In support of Maggie Rose at The Burl in Lexington, KY (March 2019)
-In-Store Performance at Grimey's New & Preloved Music in Nashville, TN (January 2017, June 2018)
-In support of Eliot Bronson at The Haymarket Americana Series in Chicago, IL
-In support of Mason Jennings at City Winery in Chicago, IL (May 2019)
-In support of Arlo McKinley and Justin Wells at The V Club in Huntington, WV (August 2018)
-The Townsend in Austin, TX (November 2018)
-Black Sparrow Music Parlor, Taylor, TX (November 2018)
-Two Dollar Tuesday at The 5 Spot in Nashville, TN (December 2019)
-The Jerry Springer Podcast at Folk School Coffee Parlor in Ludlow, KY
(June 2017, March 2018, November 2018)
-Summer Residency at The Pour House in Nashville, TN (2018)
-The Country (now The Local) in Nashville, TN (September 2017, June 2018)
-Cinder & Smoke Festival in Jackson, KY (June 2019)
-Awendaw Barn Jam in Awendaw, SC (April 2015, March 2017, December 2018)
-The Honey Festival in Jackson, KY (August 2019)
-Festival of the Horse in Georgetown, KY (September 2019)
-Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, KY (September 2018)
-Funny Ears Fringe Festival at Scruffy City Hall in Knoxville, TN (March 2018)
-Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC (2016, 2017)
-Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN (July & October 2018)
-The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH (August 2016)
-The Main Street Festival in Franklin, TN (April 2016)
-WDVX Blue Plate Special in Knoxville, TN
(September 2014, August 2017, March 2018, July 2018, December 2018)
-New Faces Nite at The Basement in Nashville, TN (December 2017)
- In Support of Derek Hoke at Cosmic Charlie's in Lexington, KY (January 2018)
-Scruffy City Hall in Knoxville, TN (August 2017, March 2018)
-Wicked Weed Funkatorium in Asheville, NC (October 2018)
-Tootle's in Circleville, OH (December 2018)
-12th & Porter in Nashville, TN (August 2013)
"Rhyan Sinclair’s songwriting crystallizes before your very eyes into something really wonderful, full of abstract and references and concrete imagery swirling together at once."
- Americana Highways
"Kentucky's Rhyan Sinclair is definitely doing classic country on her latest single, but it has her own twist on the sound. "Dragon Spirit" has a cosmic, 70's rock vibe to it. It's almost as if Gram Parsons took a few more steps into rock while still keeping his music country."
- If It's Too Loud...
"Rootsy and driving country that comfortably sidesteps into folk rock and Americana at each turn, “Dragon Spirit” is a catchy romp from Kentuckian Rhyan Sinclair."
- A Journal of Music Things
"Her distinctive soprano is raw and youthful, with just enough scratch to make it sound old-school."
- The Boot