The Belle Jar has hit the ground running since the six members converged in Denver from musically rich places like L.A., Texas, Chicago and Minnesota. This diversity fuels the catchy folk rock songs of lead singer Ryan James. After several years of teaching English and sporadically playing solo shows in southern California, Ryan moved home to Colorado to write and record the debut album Fall Systems Go. He recorded the album over a period of two years in various houses, churches, hotels and basements. On the album, he plays every instrument and sings every harmony. Not bad for someone who didn’t even play music until college.
Ryan has surrounded himself with a handful of inventive Denver transplants including Matthew Vermillion on bass guitar and vocal harmonies, Courtney Wilson on accordion, violin and piano, Andy Rex on guitar and JJ Chamberlain on drums.
G to C Magazine called Fall Systems Go “an intricate, gorgeous album that unearths new pieces with every listen.” Westword (Denver’s Village Voice) said, “James displays a knack for writing heartfelt ballads while still managing to rock out.” The Belle Jar has been in regular radio rotation on NPR’s OpenAir Colorado. The live shows are a bit of a departure from the album. They’re an upbeat, energetic, folk dance party. Just try to leave a show without one of their sticky melodies in your head. Go ahead. We dare you.
Fall Systems Go is now available on iTunes.