Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bands to Watch: Speak Low If You Speak Love

Pop-punk bassist goes indie rock

You might not know who Ryan Scott Graham is, but you probably know the band he plays bass in, as it is none other than State Champs. Although State Champs is defined by a clear, upbeat and stereotypically pop punk sound, Graham's solo project Speak Low If You Speak Love is the polar opposite. Self-described as "emotional indie rock", Speak Low If You Speak Love brings a fresh sound to the acoustic scene.

I first heard about this artist through a friend and immediately listened to the album when I got home. The music is bittersweet and often melancholy, and the lyrics tell personal stories, making the listening experience so much more intimate. I was also drawn to the title of Graham's project, presumably taken from a Don Pedro line in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing".

Graham's music is honest, written more for himself than for the listeners. However, this only makes his music more meaningful and allows listeners to connect with him on a deeper level. Speak Low If You Speak Love is too valuable to be written off as just another side project: As one of my friends said, "You hear this and you wonder why he's even playing in State Champs." I personally love State Champs, and I know my friend does too, but I get what he's saying: Speak Low If You Speak Love is a beautifully told sad story that, if given Graham's full attention, could be one of the scene's most popular artists. 

This project began in 2008 and Graham released his first EP in 2011. His first full-length album, "Everything But What You Need," was re-released this year through Pure Noise Records. You can catch Graham this summer on Warped Tour at select New England dates.

If you like acoustic, indie rock, pop punk, or emo, you'll love this artist. Graham's music wonderfully weaves together all those genres on a heartbreaking album that will be your new best friend on a rainy day or late at night.

You can buy Speak Low If You Speak Love's album here, and at the top is my personal favorite song "Knots". Let us know what you think about this artist and if you're planning to see him on Warped Tour!