By ELI JACE >
Ryan Dugré’s upcoming release, The Humors, is a calming, sleepy anecdote.
Guitarist Ryan Dugré works out of Brooklyn, New York, but he plays the guitar like he was born in an unnamed field with perpetual morning.
Dugré searches for lucidity with his playing to capture an inner dialogue with chords ascending and backsliding in gentle conversation. “A lot of the songs are in alternate tunings that I kind of stumbled into,” he’s said.
Dugré is a multi-instrumentalist and scores his bread performing with various bands on tour.
In 2017, during off-time touring with Landlady, Eleanor Friedberger and Rubblebucket, he recorded The Humors along with Sam Griffin Owens. The acoustic guitar is the star, but there are flushes of synthesizer, piano, drums and strings for sparse dramatics.
The Humors, Dugré’s second album, is a follow-up to Gardens from 2016 and is available March 8 digitally or on cassette through Birdwatcher Records.
The Humors nuzzles open with the serene circular guitar variations and the occasional stray note bending out of time on “Iris Tide.”
The album’s official single, “Bali,” is a beautiful piece of lush beach air just as the title’s location suggests. The sea breeze tugs at Dugré’s strings. Dugré showcases the intimacy of a guitar virtuoso tooling around on “New June.” One imagines morning filling up in a corner room as the relaxed notes airlift the listener from grounded constraint.
“Mateo Alone,” with synths from Eric Lane, holds the rhythm of an ocean creature descending on underwater currents, then back-kicking to launch itself skyward. “Wild Common” is a spatial nodding-off until a palm-muted guitar slides subtly in. A clean fingerpicked guitar fills out the foreground while strings and synth tinker away in the folds of the mix.
Percussion is a rarity on The Humors, only weaseling in towards the end.
“In Tall Grass” gets a lift with chalky percussion from Jeremy Gustin (Star Rover, Jesse Harris). “High Cloud” surprise-attacks the solitude with a dubby drum pattern from Ian Chang (Son Lux).
Dugré’s The Humors is all silky guitar repetition numbing the nerves like a sunlit morning trance. Ryan Dugré plays The Owl Music Parlor in Brooklyn, New York for the album’s official release on March 8.