An Interview With the Indie-Folk Duo RYVOLI On Their Brand New EP ‘RYVOLI’ and More!
Posted On 17 Jul 2018
Get to know RYVOLI! This Lexington, Kentucky-based indie folk duo recently released their EP, “Theories” on June 22nd. Their second track released, “Roots,” is a wistful ode to change, evolution and self-advancement, anchored on ghostly-strummed guitar and riveting cello.
Stream Roots Here: https://soundcloud.com/ryvoli/roots
The duo first met in Paris, France (their name pays homage to the city’s Rue de Rivoli), and the track was inspired by the period returning home to Kentucky, following a five-year stay in the foreign city.
“Fragrant hymns of Americana, gilded countrified concoctions, and folk-hewn nuggets of highly personal wisdom.” —Clash
“‘Ambient cello notes ring in the background among drums and guitars that come to life over the course of the song.” – The 405
Learn more about Ryvoli in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
Hey All Access! Thanks for having us! Our EP drops tomorrow so we’ll be busy on socials and email getting ready for that! Also, Sam is working at a goat farm and I’m painting a house. Lot’s of odd jobs around here to support ourselves!
All Access Music is currently compiling a list of our artists favorite songs this summer so what is YOUR song of the summer?
Sam – “The Bug Collector” Haley Heynderickx
Jenn – “The Magician” Andy Shauf
How has 2018 been treating you all? What is one musical goal that you have had for this year and how close are you to reaching it?
This year has been crazy! Sam got engaged and is actually getting married in our back yard. Lots going on but so fun! Our only major goal for this year was just to release something, and tomorrow we’ll celebrate that! We’ve been working for over a year on recording this project so we’re so excited to finally be able to share it.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? How did you all first meet each other? Has anything surprised you about it all so far?
Oh…everything has surprised us so far. We met in Paris, France early 2016 while we were working for the same non profit organization. Long story short, we realized that we both loved music and would often stay up til three and four in the morning playing and singing together. We would joke about starting a band whenever we moved back to the States but knew that that was highly unlikely. I (Jenn) was moving back that summer and Sam was supposed to stay for another year and half. Another long story short, Sam ended up moving back the same summer, came to visit me in KY and then ended up living with my family and I for the past two years. I think she had been here for only three days when we decided to go ahead and start a band together!
How difficult was it to come up with your band name? What other names were you considering?
It wasn’t really that difficult. We knew that all of this had started in Paris and we wanted to pay homage to that in our name. We actually met not far from Rue de Rivoli, the main East/West street that runs right through the heart of Paris. As soon as we said the name aloud, we knew it was the one. We did have to change the spelling a little because there was a mariachi band who already had the name on Facebook…so we changed the “i” to a “y” and now no one knows how to pronounce it. Thankfully Adele wrote a song called “River Lea” that we can reference when people have a hard time pronouncing it!
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
We seriously live in the best town. The music community here in Lexington, KY has been so supportive and has done so much to build our confidence.
Let’s talk about your recently released EP, “Theories.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
This EP has seemed like a long time coming. We worked with three different producers early last year trying to get this thing off the ground and just couldn’t land the feel we wanted. Then we reached out to a producer who has helped make some of our favorite music, Chris Jacobie (producer for Penny & Sparrow). We were blown away that he was equally as keen on working with us and knew it was going to be a good fit from day one. Our budget had originally only allowed us to recorded three songs, but then after some wise council and a successful Kickstarter campaign, we recorded what are now the bookend tracks for this EP. And honestly we could not imagine this project without them!
Can you explain the inspiration behind the singles that have already been released from your EP? Generally, how do you go about writing songs?
Both the inspiration and writing process for all of these songs was pretty spontaneous. It wasn’t until after they were all written and we looked back at them that we realized there was a definite theme connecting them all. We know these songs helped us process a lot of the transition of moving back to the States. We were so eager to just try anything even if we were unsure of where it would take us. Most of these songs started with a guitar riff, Sam would write the bulk of the lyrics, and then we would work out melody and other guitar parts together.
If you had all the money and time in the world, what song either yours or someone else’s would you love to re-create? What the video be like?
“September” by Earth, Wind & Fire! The video would be shots of us performing on stage with hundreds of rabbits and then at the end we would probably crowd surf into a mass of grannies wearing sequin jumpers.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
In the studio! We love the process of collaborating with other musicians and adding layers to our music.
Do you have any upcoming tour dates this summer that you would like to tell our readers about?
We are so excited for our release show at The Burl here in Lexington, KY on July 27th! We might be even more excited about playing at The Underwater Sunshine Fest hosted by Counting Crows in NYC on October 12th! Sam is getting married this Fall but we really hope to be on tour again in the Spring.
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
Sam and I really became as close as sisters through all of this – a huge gift to each of us. We have so much fun writing, playing and singing together but at the end of the day, the best part of all of this is the camaraderie and getting to meet other people through music.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
None of our songs were written in response to our political climate per se, but we both share the same passion for challenging what has been handed down to you and coming up with your own conclusions. It seems that a lot of the tension we feel around us is not just because there is injustice or inequality. Those things, unfortunately, have always been a part of humanity. The rub comes when someone challenges the norm because something needs to change. It’s incredible to watch anyone do the hard work and follow through to change their environment. For sure other musicians are making music to do just that in their own way.
How important do you think social media has been to this band? Do all you help to maintain all your sites or is one of you more into it all? Or do you rely on your PR/management team to handle it?
As much as we prefer real personal interaction, social media has definitely been a huge tool. We’re just getting started and haven’t toured a ton so we’re grateful for socials and the extended reach it provides. We’re most active on Instagram and it’s been such a fun platform to connect with fans and other artists.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this group?
We’re in love with Anais Mitchell, Big Thief, Henry Jamison, Penny & Sparrow, and JOSEPH. It would be a dream to collaborate with any of them!
If you guys were all going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you want to take with you and why?
A guitar! I have frequently told Sam that I could literally play guitar all day and never get tired of it. The guitar is the best extension of us musically and how we write the bulk of our songs. But let’s be honest…if we were really that stranded, probably a bullhorn or something.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Our EP “Theories” deals with a little anxiety and a lot of the unknown…something we all can relate to. We’d love for the listener to know and feel that they are not alone in the sadness and joy of pushing towards what’s next. Hopefully these songs can accompany them on the journey.
Where can our readers connect with this group?
Instagram is probably the best way! That’s where we get to be the most transparent outside of a one on one conversation. If you want to know what’s going on with us musically or otherwise, we’ll see ya there!
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Soundcloud
Photography provided by Fancy PR