EP Review: William Ryan Key’s “Virtue” will wreck you in the best of ways!

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Think you know the kind of music William Ryan Key makes? His new EP that dropped today, “Virtue”, will prove you very much wrong. There still remains the songwriting, the lyrics that maybe his fans had grown used to but “Virtue” is on a whole other level. When Key started making this EP, which was co-produced and mixed by Arun Bali in Nashville, the duo established the mantra ‘No Parents, No Rules’ and that is screamed throughout this latest EP. From the instrumental track that opens the album, ‘The Same Destination’, to the last track which clocks in at a wild 5:19 with ‘No More, No Less’, there is a little bit of everything in this release.

Personal standouts for me off of it are ‘Mortar & Stone’, ‘The Bowery’ and ‘Downtown (Up North)’. With all three reading like a love letter to Key’s time in Nashville, the EP still brings the emotional lyrics he’s become known for but with a definite ambient texture to all three. ‘Downtown’ is the one track on the album that seems the easiest to translate to a solo set up when live but all six are sure to be a treat when performed live.

The album still has a bit of punk roots to but instead of being more of like a All Time Low, even Yellowcard varietal, it’s more aligned with voices like Ace Enders and Anthony Raneri which I think is the way most pop punk music is going these days as kids get older and their music tastes change. Artists in this day and age are more open with their emotions and bring more of their personal tastes and influences into their own music which is great thing. It’s something that truly comes more from the heart at least for the most part.

Overall, this EP is a great follow up to the first EP Key released, ‘Thirteen’, and we over here are very ready to see this project progress. If this is any indication of what’s to come, it’s clear Key’s career will only continue and will sure to be a big success for this talented artist.

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Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.