Ryan Seiler is most famous for his participation in the Harry Potter (wizard rock) band, Ministry of Magic - but his first solo record, Into the Wind, takes on an entirely new "adult" atmosphere full of folksy acoustic tracks that stack much higher compared to his past work in techno sounds and auto-tuned voices. Into the Wind is a compilation of crisp, acoustic songs that all come together to form a unique album that seems to be a prayer of sorts. Seiler does not forget his Harry Potter roots, nor does he forget his faith and does a great job combining the two. Of course there is a lot less Harry Potter and a whole lot more spiritual elements on this record.
I chose this record for this edition of Thirsty Thursday because...well, because I love this album! When the album first came out back in 2011, I bought a few tracks but the stand out track for me was a song titled Greener. Greener is by far my favorite track on this record...among a few others. I can't say I listened to it much at the time though...but my music preferences have changed a lot since then. This past weekend, I sat at my computer and listened to this album straight through. The album put me at peace. I was sitting at my desk in my bedroom and the windows were open letting in a cool autumn breeze. It felt like pure bliss and I didn't want the album to end.
Let's start off with the fantastic album artwork. Good album artwork isn't a must but I always love seeing the artistic choices made by the artist that represents their particular body of music. Into the Wind does just that. The simple water color image of a ship alone at sea being blown in the wind really represents this album because Seiler is like a ship at sea, tossing and turning from the winds of life but always staying afloat through it all and learning and growing stronger with each hardship. The title of the album, Into the Wind, seems to be saying that even though we are scared we must go out to sea and experience the rough waves in order to become true sailors. We must not be afraid to go into the wind and experience life for the good and for the bad moments that will ultimately make us a better person because of said experiences. Seiler's music on this album definitely reflects this theme.
What I love about this album, besides it being peaceful, is that each song is a prayer and by the end the album as a whole feels like a poetic reflection on spirituality. The album starts off with the track July - a warm, simplistic tune that reflects on summer activities. The second track pays homage to Seiler's Ministry of Magic days which I love. He performs an acoustic track of the song Don't Leave, a song written about the final book in the HP series, Deathly Hallows. I'm so glad Seiler chose this specific song to be on this record because it is one of my favorite Ministry of Magic songs. The reason I love it so much is
because it isn't overly Harry Potter. Taken out of context, the song seems to be about friendship and childhood innocence. While I'm glad the song is on the record, it is the weakest track in my opinion for the fact that it contains stiffer lyrics compared to the rest. The album continues the acoustic vibe with more heavily spiritual tracks that all hold up very nicely not only musically but lyrically. If Seiler is recognized for anything with this record, it should be for his fantastic contemplative lyrics. Stand out tracks for me include And We Sing, Greener, Run Home, and To See This. Seiler also takes advantage of using repetition throughout this album. He does this through his lyrics and through the themes he sings about. The album ends with the song Cannonball Coming. At first glance this song doesn't seem to stand out like the rest on the album but as I listened further I truly began to sense a state of finality to the song. It is a perfect track to end the record and it, once again, pays homage to his Harry Potter roots. Harry Potter fans will catch this reference since the song seems to be about moving on yet never forgetting how you became the person you are today and to savor every moment in life.
Into the Wind isn't the typical album you would see in a Christian book store and that is A-OKAY with me. It dares to talk about God and spirituality in a fresh and raw way and Seiler's rugged voice combined with his beautiful lyrics make for a wonderfully refreshing album! It is a must buy! You can pick it up on iTunes or listen free on Spotify. Physical copies are also being sold on Amazon!
"Stay thirsty my friends!"
Similar albums to Ryan Seiler's Into the Wind: Wesley Blaylock; Wesley Blaylock, Charlie Simpson; Young Pilgrim