Kyabram Free Press

Ryan’s running hot

- By John Lewis

Pivot may be an overused word in these changing times, but nothing else can so neatly summarise Ryan Meeking's musical direction about-face.

The Kyabram-born singersong­writer, who appeared in countless Goulburn Valley theatre musicals and guitar-based bands before heading to Melbourne, has come up with an inspiratio­nal piece of new music that perfectly captures the dreams of a generation in lockdown.

His new single, Endless Run, drips with the nostalgia and joyous abandon of dancing at summer festivals, while an accompanyi­ng video shows Meeking wearing headphones and zoning out indoors — as if rememberin­g those halcyon days.

Gone are the big, soaring voice-and-guitar ballads of his band Whitaker.

Endless Run is warm digital music recorded at home then engineered by Sam Swain (Josh Cashman, Obscura Hail) and mastered by Randy Merrill (Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber).

The result is a dense, rhythmic and catchy pop gem — which borders on ear-worm status.

Rolling Stone Australia has called it "a blissful slice of indie-pop".

“I wanted to use the pandemic as a way to respond with positivity. I often write with a still image in my head — and this was someone dancing at a summer festival,” Meeking said.

“I also wanted to work with producers that have an indiepop edge and who push the boundaries a bit.”

His musical journey began with appearance­s in Kyabram Secondary College school shows organised by his mother, Sue, and later with Shepparton Theatre Arts Group production­s. His teenage band Noodles Romanoff and the Flustered Peacocks was a hit on Shepparton stages including at Yahoo Bar on High St.

Noodles’ Shepparton bass player Simon Rabl went on to accompany Meeking in other musical incarnatio­ns such as Ryan Meeking and the Few and current band Whitaker.

Meeking's musical path has not been smooth. Like all musicians with dreams, his journey has seen gigs at big Melbourne clubs, smoky bars and festivals and bouts of factory jobs and teaching.

When Whitaker was signed to record company giant Warner Bros in 2009, it finally seemed his star was rising. But by 2012 their debut album was still on the shelf, and so the gigging and factory work continued.

Meeking continued to write and produce his own music, which has featured in massive television shows such as Suits, So You Think You Can Dance USA and Teen Wolf.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, it meant Melbourne-based Meeking couldn't meet up with his Whitaker band members, guitarist Brett Capin and Rabl. So he took the opportunit­y to come up with something new, solo.

“The music can't stop. I had to continue,” he said.

Now 36, and married with two children, Penelope, 3, and Jude — born just last week — Meeking has re-energised himself and his music.

He said lockdowns were a time to reflect and look at his situation.

“It's really important to show my kids that you can make something out of nothing,” he said.

“You have to take that leap of faith. I said ‘let's make lemonade out of lemons'.”

The Endless Run project is entirely self-funded and is a sign of more to come.

“There's a whole new body of work to come. People can expect to hear a lot more from Ryan Meeking, and from Whitaker,” he said.

Subject to COVID-19 restrictio­ns, Meeking is set to launch Endless Run with a live show at Small Time in Brunswick on August 12.

Follow Ryan Meeking and his music on Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok @ryanmeekin­g, and on Facebook @ryanmeekin­gmusic

 ??  ?? Singer Ryan Meeking has released a new single,
Singer Ryan Meeking has released a new single,

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