Sometimes those steps sideways are the most impactful. Former Yellowcard vocalist and rhythm guitarist WILLIAM RYAN KEY continues to challenge not only his fans but also himself with a slight right turn for his third solo EP EVERYTHING EXCEPT DESIRE (release date: February 11, 2022). Propelling him further into uncharted musical territory with a more experimental sound, this EP also marks a new beginning for the multi-instrumentalist: he has inked a new recording deal with seminal independent label Equal Vision Records.
“Ever since I started making my own music, I think I’ve been searching for what became Everything Except Desire,” says Key about the new EP. Textured with multi-layered soundscapes that incorporate pastoral washes of piano, strings and synths, the music from Everything Except Desire evokes emotions through complex song structures that shows Key’s passion for experimentation.
A sonic exploration of emotions and the journey to find inner peace, the five track EP delves into difficult topics and struggles for Key. The first single “Face In A Frame” (out today; listen here) dives deep into the emotions of loss and confusion amidst an ethereal wash of percolating keys. “’Face in a Frame’ started with one simple piano loop and ended up opening the door to one of the most creatively inspiring sessions of my career,” he explains. “I tried to stay lyrically honest, while building a track that takes the listener on a journey of self-discovery.” Watch the animated video here.
Newly inked to Equal Vision, Ryan is excited about the prospects and possibilities that this new relationship will bring. “One of my most vivid memories of buying a record on release day is going to CD Connection in Jacksonville Beach, FL on November 2, 1999 to pick up a copy of Saves the Day’s Through Being Cool,” reminisces Key. “When I got the artwork back for Everything Except Desire and saw the Equal Vision imprint under my name, that moment from ‘99 flooded my mind and reminded me just how lucky I am to get to do what I love and to have the chance to work with such amazing people. I’m very excited about what the future holds for me with my new musical home.”
Adds Matthew Gordner of Equal Vision, “Everyone at Equal Vision Records has long admired William Ryan Key’s artistic creativity and deep-seated originality; we are thrilled to be afforded the opportunity to contribute to his success.”
Having forged his music career in seminal alt-rock band Yellowcard with eight albums, Key began his solo career, releasing two critically-hailed EPs Thirteen and Virtue in 2018. Substream Magazine chimed, “William has created something special with Thirteen. Nothing here remotely reminds the senses of Yellowcard, instead we are treated to something fresh and sincere,” while indie tome Altwire praised Virtue, saying it “establishes Key’s foothold as an exceptionally honest songwriter with a far greater sense of self-confidence, completely without hesitancy to put out into the world what most would prefer remain hidden away.”
Everything Except Desire was conceived and produced by Key on a month-to-month basis through Patreon at the start of Summer 2020. After receiving heavy praise from his fans, Key enlisted the help from friends Ryan Mendez, Erich Talaba and Mike Kalajian for mixing and mastering and set the release plan in motion. With a new label and forging down a new path, Key is ready for what lies ahead in 2022. “I took a risk and created something completely unlike anything I’ve released in the past,” he beams. “This record felt like a big step for me both as a writer and a producer.
Everything Except Desire will be released on February 11, 2022 via Equal Vision Records and can be pre-ordered/pre-saved at https://wrk.lnk.to/desire.