“I listened to nothing but Prince for two years. Prince was my gateway into R&B.” If you asked Ryan Thompson to describe the music of Feign Pathos, he might tell you that it’s not quite R&B. That it’s still very much rooted in an archetype derivative of his early rock and pop influences, but that he’s pushing his music as far as he can in a contemporary R&B direction. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of Thompson as a songwriter is that he doesn’t seem to move through phases of songwriting, in terms of growing in and out of his various influences.
Rather, his influences seem to accumulate over time. He carries them with him and always seems to find a balance between even the most contradictory elements. From song to song you might hear the falsetto of El Debarge delivered through the reedy voice of Bob Dylan. Or melismas reminiscent of Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men) over the somber, Beatlesque songcraft of Elliott Smith. Or, yet again, the sensual tenderness of a Babyface ballad paired with the encyclopedic chord vocabulary of Donald Fagen (Steely Dan). “I don’t discriminate [between my] influences at all. The trick is legitimately loving as much music as you possibly can.”
Ryan Thompson has been the primary songwriter in several groups since the mid-nineties. With hundreds of songs in his backlog, he has surprisingly very little available for consumption. “I’m planning on releasing the debut Feign Pathos EP in 2014. Also, in addition to my solo acoustic performances, I’m going to start bringing in some other musicians–these songs are meant to be bigger…and to groove more.” Feign Pathos is based out of Brooklyn, NY.