by Lera Lynn
Ms. Lynn has a steady command of her craft, and a subtly smoldering intensity that instantly captivates...
~ The Atlanta Music GuideTake a listen
"Ryan Monahan opens his mouth to sing, but it's the jaws of the audience members that drop," says Flagpole since his short residency in Athens, GA...
After years of contemplation and plan-B abandonment, singer-songwriter Ryan Monahan conceived Monahan out of the ashes of two successful CT-based indie-rock outfits, Eschellon, and Shadowgraphs. And while previous groups focused on balls-to-the wall atmospherics, Monahan’s solo effort has chosen to forgo theatrics in favor of carefully thought out, studio-constructed soundscapes. Monahan’s melancholy-tinged pop songs have garnered comparisons as wide as Roy Orbison, Andrew Bird, Beck, Jeff Buckley, Elvis Costello, and Travis. "…Think Jimmy Gnecco of Ours without all the overbearing darkness," mentions Flagpole.
In 2008, Monahan packed up his successes and failures and set his sights for small-town music Mecca - Athens, GA - to begin working on his solo debut. The making of Stop Saying I has given him the opportunity to work with musicians from Dark Meat, Venice is Sinking, Great Society, and Misfortune 500; as well as engineers David Barbie of CPT (R.E.M., Drive By Truckers) and Eric Friar of DARC.
In Nov of 2008, Monahan’s cinematic folk-composition, “The Sound That Never Dies”, appeared on the season finale of Lifetime’s Army Wives, to be followed in 2009 by Eschellon’s post-Beatles groove “I Know You’re Tired” appearing in the feature film Crossing Over (Harrison Ford, Sean Penn, Ashley Judd). In 2010, "I Know You're Tired" would make an encore appearance on Fox Network's Lie To Me.
In 2010, members of Monahan joined forces with Cindy Wilson of the B-52s to form Ola Moon. The group's first public performance was a sold out show for R.E.M.'s 30th Birthday Party. Later that year, the group would also perform at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta for a Dalí exhibit.
Also in 2008, Monahan graced the stage of the Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts as a headlining artist, playing for a D.C. audience of some 1,500 people.
Other projects Monahan has found himself involved in have included producing Cassette88, organizing the "Invisible Children Film Festival", and contributing to Athens' Flagpole Magazine.