American Cloud Songs
American Cloud Songs is the solo project of acclaimed folk artist Robert Ryan. Having previously been a participant in in the free-form music collective known as Harmonize Most High, Ryan went on to found the New Jersey deep-psych stoner rock outfit Lord Sterling, as well as collaborate with artist Daniel Higgs. After flirting with these musical projects, Ryan branched out on his own to create American Cloud Songs, a bright yet meditative drone-oriented folk project. Ryan’s well-honed instincts, supreme restraint, and multi-instrumental talents gave birth to his debut album Aum, released by Dais in 2012 and recorded by Alap Momin (Dälek/This Immortal Coil). Ryan’s well-crafted musicianship on the album was further augmented by contributions from Nathan Bell (Lungfish), Neil O’Brien (The Van Pelt), and free-form jazz legend Daniel Carter. Aum is steeped in Ryan’s life-long study of esoteric mysticism, inviting the listener to join him on a metaphysical plane where melodic folk and psychedelic drone music unite in perfect harmony.
Robert Ryan hails from Asbury Park, a beautiful yet decaying fortress of seaside Americana. Although he has a lengthy musical history, Ryan is also an accomplished visual and tattoo artist. While living in Asbury Park, Ryan made an indelible impact on the tattooing community and he can easily be considered one of the American greats in his craft. From the home base of his shop, Electric Tattoo, which is surrounded by walls of hand-painted art, Ryan has visually articulated his dedication to sacred geometry and symbolic literacy. Culling inspiration from the occult, Vedic philosophy, and American folklore, these themes transfer seamlessly from his visual work to his recorded sound. They are all artifacts of one man’s dedication to the articulation of the earth’s spiritual totems.