A three-track collection like the culmination of a lifetime’s ambitions, Mantaraybryn AKA Welsh/Cornish solo artist Bryn Evans signs to Modern Sky UK to release ‘Year Of The Heron’ on 16th July 2021.
Announcing the EP with a radiant confidence is “Tantalus”, a lead single of beatific synth/pop with stately chamber-pop touches. Striking a direct hit somewhere between the realms of Florence & The Machine, Patrick Wolf and Years & Years, the track finds an artist deftly shielding introspective insecurities with a soundtrack of extrovert bravado.
Pairing his effectual vocal flutter to a finale of enlivening bombast, “Tantalus” casts off the shackles of unrequited love with a sense of life-affirming liberation. Peeling back the layers of “Tantalus”, Mantaraybryn says of the track:
“After a period of longing for someone I couldn’t be with, Tantalus is the fury at my past self for not being more awake and present. Tantalus as a character in mythology lives with perpetual thirst and hunger, with no relief. I felt like him when taunting myself by still hoping for something with this ex, when it was clear I didn’t have a future with him. The song is rage directed inwardly and then sent out in an explosive song; it needed to sound huge, like how a baroque painting looks, sending listeners running forwards into something clearer.”
Touching on themes of mythology and sexuality, self-exploration and solitude, “Tantalus” is an indicative forecast of what to expect from Mantaraybryn’s incoming new EP.
Shaped by several years of emotional upheaval, cosmic epiphany and a realisation of purpose, the ‘Year of The Heron’ EP is a definitive and personal statement from an artist coming-of-age and coming-out. Marrying lyrics of disarming intimacy to melodies of a blindsiding extravagance, Mantaraybryn invites the listener into a world of his own vibrant definition. Characterised by his unmistakable vocals, he adds layers of emotional depth to complex narratives that unfold in songs awash with references to nature, history, literature and love.
EP opener “Into One Ether” leads the way with an electrifying electro-pop cascade that finds Mantaraybryn sifting through multiple incarnations of himself in the pursuit of happiness. “It’s about being alone after being with someone, not knowing which version of yourself to present, being with anyone just to not face silence” he muses.
Elsewhere, the more cerebral and reflective “Mayfly” offers nuanced commentary on the short-lived nature of modern dating, where “hopes and conversations sometimes only last hours only to be replaced swiftly by more faces/profiles”.
Collectively ‘Year of The Heron’ EP sees Mantaraybryn present a trove of heaven-sent treasures just waiting to be unearthed. As likely to be sung from the rooftops as they are to ignite dancefloors, it’s a record of incandescent pop with an intellectual head, emotional heart and flamboyant spirit to be admired as one shining statement of intent.
Elaborating on the recurring themes that flow throughout the EP, Mantrarybryn says:
“Year of the Heron is really about me digging into my solitude – even though each track has hugely different energy, they all have an undercurrent following this theme… This EP feels like I know myself so much more. It’s me saying “I’m here” and feels like my self appointed coronation. Lyrically, I think it’s my strongest work to date.”
With every new year comes new horizons, intrepid expectations and endless possibilities. ‘Year Of The Heron’ represents all of these and so much more. A rebirth, a fresh start, a new chapter, call it what you like, Mantaraybryn’s upcoming release is the beginning of a new journey in pop you won’t want to miss a step of.
MANTARAYBRYN RELEASES NEW EP: ‘YEAR OF THE HERON’ ON 16 JULY 2021, VIA MODERN SKY UK