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Offline PANIC!  
#1 Posted : 24 December 2022 10:09:34(UTC)
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Studio album by Ryan Ross Hernandez
Recorded: October 2023 - March 2024
Studio: Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles) • Oro y Plata Studios (Livingston)
Genre: Synth-pop, indie pop, folk, soft rock, funk, dream pop, R&B, chamber pop
Length: 36:44
Label: Studio 60 Records
Producer: Ryan Ross Hernandez • Ellie-Grace Summers

Singles from Late Fragment
1. "Sky Eyes"



Late Fragment is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Ryan Ross Hernandez. On October 14, 2022, Hernandez announced via Instagram that he was departing Studio60 Records upon the release of his next full-length project, which at the time was not revealed. Late Fragment, came as surprise release to streaming services on July 12, 2024, when Hernandez shared the album art on social media platforms. Exploring the different facades of falling in love and self-acceptance, Late Fragment is a concept album inspired by Hernandez's personal life and a romantic partner, which at time of release, fans speculated it was fellow singer-songwriter Ellie-Grace Summers. The album has been described as a conscious attempt from Hernandez to distance himself from his highly publicized love life and celebrity status, which were frequent topics explored in his past records, as well as in the press.

Compared to the more bombastic pop melodies and sounds of Sex with Former Lovers, Late Fragment's production is more restrained, relying frequently on vintage synthesizers, drum machines, and vocal distortions. The ten song set incorporates eclectic styles ranging from synth-pop and funk to soft rock and folk; containing confessional yet coded lyrics that explore love, commitment, lust, infatuation, and heartbreak; with some discussing anxiety, self-awareness, and disassociation. The title is taken from American writer Raymond Carver's last published poem of the same name, which he wrote shortly before he passed away from lung cancer at the age of 50 in 1988. The cover art features excerpts from the poem in its background, which its usage was reportedly approved by the late author's estate.

Hernandez, who has actively secluded himself more from media attention and public life since 2016, stated upon release that Late Fragment will not feature a traditional promotional campaign, with no scheduled press interviews or television appearances announced. Instead, the album will rely heavily on social media and online fan-to-fan promotion, with Hernandez utilizing TikTok to share lyrics and short instrumental clips. The lead single "Sky Eyes" was released concurrently with the album release; which was chosen due to its "dopey, carefree, lovey-dovey" nature as described by Hernandez, and picked out by his friends as a standout track.

Late Fragment received positive to mixed acclaim. According to the review aggregator Metacritic, the album received "generally favorable reviews" based on a weighted average score of 70 out of 100 from 21 critic scores, the second lowest of Hernandez's career. Some reviewers highlighted the lyrical vulnerability, experimental sound, and Hernandez's vocal delivery as standouts. Critics found the album to be a departure from the "kiss-and-tell" songwriting found on preceding records and regarding his new approach as more universal. Many praised the inclusion of collaborator Ellie-Grace Summers as a producer, often citing as their work together bringing the best out of Hernandez's artistry. Late Fragment marks the first time since 2010's Running Changes that Hernandez did not self-produce his own album.

On the other hand, a handful of critics found Hernandez's lyrics to be "cheesy" and his songwriting "dumbed down" in an effort to appease a mass audience, while also lamenting the musician's decision of largely leaving behind his more guitar-driven sound. In its most negative review upon release, Pitchfork writer Maddie Clark stated, "[The] Late Fragment strips away all the artistry that first made Hernandez a consistent, household name; instead giving us an uninspired, lazy effort," going on to criticize Hernandez's singing as "monotone". The publication gave the LP a final score of 3.8 out of a possible 10.



Background

Late Fragment is the last album under his 15-year or 5-album, 2010 contract with Studio60 Records; the latter clause subsequently ending his ties with the label upon this release. Both parties were able to reach a deal that allowed Hernandez to walk away from the label with master recordings to the albums he released during his time as a Studio60 artist; details were sealed upon agreement. In September 2016, upon completion of his An Evening with Ryan Ross Hernandez world tour which spanned over three calendar years, Hernandez cleared his social media accounts and secluded himself from press attention. The decision came after years of his reputation being tarnished due to the publicizing of his romantic relationships and feuds with others in the entertainment industry. In mid-2016, the release of "The Younger Heart" which was heavily speculated to be about his relationship with American pop singer Isabel Merjos, and his breakup with rapper Miami around the same time, branded him once more as a "cad" and "womanizer", reigniting past accusations of gaslighting and serial dating. The same year marked the first time Hernandez publicly voiced his political opinion, supporting several Democrat candidates for the 2016 United States elections in his home states of California and Montana, as well as endorsing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her presidential bid. The decision was met with mixed reactions by both media publications and among his fanbase.

Subsequently, he cancelled the entirety of Sex with Former Lovers which was completed and set to be released in the spring of 2017, and removed himself from the spotlight. The project officially came out years later in March 2021 after certain songs leaked online due to a stolen laptop. Upon its release, Hernandez admitted to feeling a detachment to those songs because they were "no longer relevant" to who he was as a person or wanted to be perceived as. After releasing two one-off singles in 2020 upon his comeback "In Hate We Trust, USA" and "Darkness in the Light / Light in the Darkness", Hernandez began working with Ellie-Grace Summers in secret by the fall of 2020 on a collaborative album that was first announced in April 2021 where the two performed the lead single "Company Amongst the Madness" together at the Fan Choice Awards. While "All In" and "Blind Faith" were both released from the project in the summer and fall of 2021 respectively, from there the joint album has been placed in development hell reportedly due to Hernandez and Summers' roll out plans for it not aligning with the label. The release date for their Amongst the Madness LP is currently unknown.

In his personal life, Late Fragment marks the first album cycle since Hernandez reached celebrity status where the public has no prior knowledge of who might be the inspiration behind his songs; with Hernandez having not dated publicly since 2016. In a review written by Rolling Stone's Anna Walters' she explains that "[Hernandez] spent the bulk of his two decade long career as the most prolific dater in Hollywood - now on Late Fragment - the singer-songwriter is highly protective of his personal affairs and his girlfriend," going on to share that the lyrics on Late Fragment keep his muse cryptic, leaving tabloids grasping at the bits for the "slightest" of clues.



Writing and production

According to Hernandez, the idea for Late Fragment came about in early July 2022 after he and Ellie-Grace Summers completed their first headlining shows together at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, although recording sessions did not start until a year and a half later. Hernandez enlisted Summers to produce Late Fragment, which was made over a six month stretch between late 2023 and early 2024 with the bulk of the sessions happening at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, where the former owns a recording lot at. It was the first time in his solo career where Hernandez says he stepped into the studio with no demos or lyrics, rather using the studio time to figure it out as they went along. Late Fragment was written and recorded with a "regular day job" approach, Hernandez explaining that most days it was just him and Summers in the studio for about eight hours at a time. The duo are credited as the sole writers and producers for the entire album with Hernandez describing it as the most "selfless" process he's had when making a solo record.

Most of the tracks on Late Fragment are open-hearted love songs examining the whirlwind of experiences and emotions found in a budding romantic relationship. Its lyrics are about Hernandez's personal life but several critics have agreed that he uses open-ended universally relatable feelings and descriptions that can be applied to many people's relationships, differing from his more direct conversationalist style of songwriting in the past.

From the Los Angeles sessions, there were a total of 16 songs recorded, however Hernandez and Summers cut the track listing down to the songs that best fit their vision and the core themes of Late Fragment, resulting in ten tracks making the final cut. As opposed to previous experiences where he began writing on guitar, Hernandez pushed himself to explore new ways of constructing melodies and lyrics, with the bulk of songs that ended up on the final track listing starting with synthesizers and drum beats before being expanded on. Only one song was recorded in Hernandez's home studio in Livingston, Montana, "Only Getting Older", which was inspired by a nightmare he had the day after his 46th birthday party in October 2023.



Track Listing

All songs written by Ryan Ross Hernandez and Ellie-Grace Summers.

1. "The Man I Used to Be" (4:26)
2. "Days Go Dark" (2:58)
3. "Lily of the Valley" (3:53)
4. "Sky Eyes" (3:05)
5. "Sanctifying" (4:09)
6. "In Perfect Rhythm" (3:14)
7. "Memories You Left" (3:42)
8. "Second Best" (2:59)
9. "Only Getting Older" (3:35)
10. "Entirely Yours" (3:13)

Edited by user 07 July 2024 11:54:50(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline PANIC!  
#2 Posted : 05 January 2023 07:32:22(UTC)
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Song by Ryan Ross Hernandez
from the album Late Fragment
Title: "The Man I Used to Be"
Studio: Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles)
Genre: Synth-pop, pop rock
Length: 4:26
Label: Studio 60 Records
Songwriter: Ryan Ross Hernandez
Producer: Ryan Ross Hernandez • Ellie-Grace Summers

"The Man I Used to Be" is a song by American singer-songwriter Ryan Ross Hernandez. The opening track of Late Fragment, was written by Hernandez, who co-produced it with Ellie-Grace Summers. The lyrics are described as a "coming-of-age story", discussing aging, depression, friendship, and falling in love. "The Man I Used to Be" is a synth-pop and pop rock song built around a mixture of real instrumentation along with synthesizers and drum loops. The electric guitar work on the song is more subtle than on previous Hernandez's records, some describing it as minimalistic and understated. The song relies heavily on piano and retro synthesizers during the verses and bridge, while the chorus includes the combination of drum machines and real drums to create a more upbeat feel. "The Man I Used to Be" features background vocals by American singer-songwriter Madison Urie, which were layered and distorted underneath Hernandez's own singing.

The song's chorus was inspired by different periods of time throughout Hernandez's life since he became famous, examining his character flaws and proclaiming that he is no longer the man that he was in his youth. Music critics praised the song for its self-aware songwriting, introspective verses, detailed instrumentation, and lively vocals, with some calling it the best album opener in Hernandez's career. Alison Spencer of The New Yorker noted that "The Man I Used to Be" offers a "small glimpse into Hernandez's increasingly privately-led life" without sacrificing any artistic integrity. Pitchfork journalist Maddie Clark ranked it as the best song on Late Fragment. She commended its "down-to-earth lyricism", "passionate vocal performance", and "über-interesting" musicianship. Rolling Stone critic Harry Rooney appreciated the song's "silky smooth" production, commenting that Summers' assistance behind the boards breathes "new life" into Hernandez's second act as a solo artist. The lyrics also seemingly contain a direct reference to English singer-songwriter Oscar Ward of the pop group Weekend.

Ryan Ross Hernandez wrote:
"The running joke with "The Man I Used to Be" is that it's my coming-of-age story at forty-five years old. Immediately when I wrote this song I knew it was going to open the record because it puts a bow on my younger years, while giving a small glimpse of how my life is at present. I've kind of gone back and forth when I make an album if I want the loudest and most bombastic song on the album to start the record or not; "The Man I Used to Be" is the most in-your-face on Late Fragment. And almost entirely that's thanks to the chorus which has a very strong band feel to it. A good friend of mine Madison Urie was visiting the studio when we were laying down vocals on this track and I convinced her to go into the booth and help with the background vocals you hear throughout. Ellie-Grace [Summers] and I layered and distorted a few different vocal takes to give the chorus that fuller sound. I think both lyrically and musically this song achieves its goal of letting the listener know... "hey, this is me in 2023." I'm not the same person I was in 2002 or 2010 or 2018. It's like a software update for everyone. No one remains the same person they were at twenty or thirty for the rest of their lives."




The Man I Used to Be

I'm no longer a danger to break a heart
I've fully accepted my shortcomings and flaws
I worked on myself to be a better man
I walked out of someone's life a long time ago
Then the changing of winds brought us back
I'll protect her heart with all my might
She will never feel that pain again for as long as I'm still breathing
Because the man I used to be is only a memory now

At twenty-five I thought I was smarter than everyone
Nobody could match my wit
By thirty-two I was treating New York City like my playground
So caught up in my own self
The world hadn't knocked me on my ass yet
Then the deep depression to round out my thirties
I lost my will to live at forty-one
Drowning in my regrets
Outrunning ghosts that still haunt me dead
This is the last time I'll ever speak about the man I used to be


I called up my friend Oscar
Isn't it ironic that we're friends now?
Invited him and his wife out for dinner
They show us pictures of their kids
We discuss vacation destinations and holiday plans
Shit talking about people that we know but don't really like
The four of us share a few drinks and even more laughs
I'm no longer staying up 'til sunrise
Trying to find a body who can be anybody
I'm too busy building a future with the girl of my dreams

At twenty-five I thought I was smarter than everyone
Nobody could match my wit
By thirty-two I was treating New York City like my playground
So caught up in my own self
The world hadn't knocked me on my ass yet
Then the deep depression to round out my thirties
I lost my will to live at forty-one
Drowning in my regrets
Outrunning ghosts that still haunt me dead
This is the last time I'll ever speak about the man I used to be


At forty-five I've fully grown up
Behind schedule for some
Right on time for me
I found some peace of mind
The storm in my head has finally passed
I found the love of my life
She sleeps beside me so soundly every night
Yeah, she was born in the 1990s
I guess some of my traits won't ever change
But still I'm proud of the man I am today
I hope she is too
So let's raise a glass
To a long life ahead of us
And I won't look back in sorrow

At twenty-five I thought I was smarter than everyone
Nobody could match my wit
By thirty-two I was treating New York City like my playground
So caught up in my own self
The world hadn't knocked me on my ass yet
Then the deep depression to round out my thirties
I lost my will to live at forty-one
Drowning in my regrets
Outrunning ghosts that still haunt me dead
This is the last goodbye to the man I used to be


---

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Offline PANIC!  
#3 Posted : 12 January 2023 11:19:02(UTC)
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Song by Ryan Ross Hernandez
from the album Late Fragment
Title: "Days Go Dark"
Studio: Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles)
Genre: Synth-pop
Length: 2:58
Label: Studio 60 Records
Songwriter: Ryan Ross Hernandez • Ellie-Grace Summers
Producer: Ryan Ross Hernandez • Ellie-Grace Summers

"Days Go Dark" is a song by American singer-songwriter Ryan Ross Hernandez. Written and produced by Hernandez and Ellie-Grace Summers. It is one of four songs on Late Fragment that lists both Hernandez and Summers as co-writers, while they share production duties on all ten tracks. "Days Go Dark" is a synth-pop song driven by quiet arpeggiators, looped drums, and distorted guitar riffs. The lyrics detail a romantic affair and the protagonist's commitment to his lover. The song features a direct reference to the 2021 hit duet "Forbidden Honey" by American pop singers Layla Sanchez and Joshua Grimmie, which some critics cited slight comparisons between the two tracks.

Hernandez described "Days Go Dark" as being inspired by his own love life, although not diving into any specifics to protect both the identity of his partner and the "utmost private integrity" of their relationship. Various music publications acclaimed the song's straightforward lyrics and vocal harmonies. Rebecca Dawson of Billboard dubbed "Days Go Dark" as a highlight on the album, featuring "the most catchy chorus in Hernandez's over two decade long career", and praising its "universal" lyricism. The New York Times' critic Christina Gallagher mused that "the days of Hernandez writing these complex guitar-driven gems might be behind him," suggesting that the musician is more motivated in the "short attention span TikTok era" consumption of his music and doing so effectively. The Guardian journalist Sean Wheeler praised the song's structure and considered "Days Go Dark" to be a "no-brainer" future single, however questioned Hernandez's "reserved" musicianship. In a more lukewarm review, Julia Martin for Esquire wrote that "[Hernandez] keeps grasping at pop stardom similar to his younger twenty-something counterparts", noting the lack of guitar licks as a missed opportunity on the song.

Ryan Ross Hernandez wrote:
"The first song we worked on when we settled in Los Angeles was "Days Go Dark" which sort of set the tempo for the rest of the record. Ellie-Grace [Summers] and I got a ton of old-school vintage synthesizers delivered to the studio pretty early on during the recording process and we immediately both just started messing around with them. I didn't really pick up a guitar while making Late Fragment unless I absolutely felt like I had to. Only a few of these songs were born on a guitar, which was a first in my career. So with "Days Go Dark" the entire melody was composed on synths and we added some minor drums and we distorted the guitar work pretty heavily at certain parts, but overall we wanted the song to be very approachable and calming. It's a love song and probably the first in my career which has no shadows of doubt around it. I used to always look for the cracks in a relationship, even when I was presently in it. "Days Go Dark" is firmly stating my love for someone and my commitment to them not fading without any self-destructive bullshit. This song makes me happy and I hope the same effect is felt by anyone listening to it."




Days Go Dark

What do we have left to prove?
The suffering is behind us
Our hearts have been mended
My overworked hands can rest easy in yours
I've never thought about forever until you showed up at my door
I've cut back on the pessimism
God brought you to me for when the going gets tough
But now the future doesn't seem that daunting anymore
I almost left this world by choice once
Now I'm gonna stick around 'til the end of the show

I will love you until my days go dark
You won't ever have to wander alone
As long as I'm here, I'll always have your back
If the demons try to take you from me
I'll fight them off one by one
With a plastic sword while they have sharp knives
'Til they are all gone and it's just you and me
Together baby, forevermore
It'll always be you and me
Until my days go dark


We're dancing in the backyard to "Forbidden Honey"
Your cheeks are flushed from the wine
And the way I make you feel
We tripped and fell into the pool
Made out when we returned to the surface
You looked right out of a dream
Soaked in your strapless sundress
Your eyes staring into mine
Did you feel it too?
This is love
There's nothing that can stop it now

I will love you until my days go dark
You won't ever have to wander alone
As long as I'm here, I'll always have your back
If the demons try to take you from me
I'll fight them off one by one
With a plastic sword while they have sharp knives
'Til they are all gone and it's just you and me
Together baby, forevermore
It'll always be you and me
Until my days go dark


Won't you lay down with me?
The world is looking grim
Don't you think we should stay hiding away?
So many years wasted on cheap thrills
Now I'll only be yours
Until my days go dark

I will love you until my days go dark
You won't ever have to wander alone
As long as I'm here, I'll always have your back
If the demons try to take you from me
I'll fight them off one by one
With a plastic sword while they have sharp knives
'Til they are all gone and it's just you and me
Together baby, forevermore
It'll always be you and me
Until my days go dark


I will love you until my days go dark
You won't ever have to wander alone
As long as I'm here, I'll always have your back
If the demons try to take you from me
I'll fight them off one by one
With a plastic sword while they have sharp knives
'Til they are all gone and it's just you and me
Together baby, forevermore
It'll always be you and me
Until my days go dark

---

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#4 Posted : 13 January 2023 23:58:22(UTC)
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Song by Ryan Ross Hernandez
from the album Late Fragment
Title: "Lily of the Valley"
Studio: Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles)
Genre: Folk
Length: 3:53
Label: Studio 60 Records
Songwriter: Ryan Ross Hernandez • Ellie-Grace Summers
Producer: Ryan Ross Hernandez • Ellie-Grace Summers

"Lily of the Valley" is a song by American singer-songwriter Ryan Ross Hernandez. Written and produced by Hernandez and Ellie-Grace Summers, it serves as the third track on Late Fragment. Unlike the first two "Lily of the Valley" starts a run of more guitar-led songs within the track listing. "Lily of the Valley" has a wide-scope instrumentation highlighted by an electric guitar arranged by Hernandez and programmed drums composed by Summers. Hernandez performs the acoustic guitar, drums, and bass for the song; while Summers played the piano and did background vocal harmonies as well. Additionally, "Lily of the Valley" prominently features an orchestral string section and organ.

The song is narrated by a protagonist who reconnects with a former lover and realizes that their romantic connection never died out despite the distance and passing of time, the lyrics recounting both their current uncertain status and reminiscing about their past. Some listeners have compared the theme to the greater concept of Amongst the Madness, the collaborative album that Hernandez and Summers have been working on, with fans calling it a "prologue" to the project. "Lily of the Valley" received widespread critical acclaim with many ranking it as the best song on Late Fragment. In a review for the Associated Press, Kimberly Wayne called the song a testament of "sensual desire and longing" without relying on any vulgarity or sexual imagery, which she states were common place in past albums by Hernandez. Harry Rooney of Rolling Stone argued that "Lily of the Valley" may go down as Hernandez's "magnum opus", praising its meticulous instrumentation and heartfelt lyricism. Variety critic Jessie Burrow appreciated the song's "complex-yet-minimalistic" production, calling the final product "beautifully haunting." She also stated her praise for Summers' "continuous elevation" of Hernandez's "second act" as an artist following his hiatus, lauding the changing choruses and transitions as "amplifying" the song's pleas.

Ryan Ross Hernandez wrote:
"There are no preset rules when I make a record anymore. Track three on Late Fragment is a folk song that is trapped in this otherwise fairly pop-forward album. I had a few random lyrics written on my phone in early 2021 but I never tried to craft it into a song until we were trying to round-out the track listing for this project. I had this finger-picking guitar riff in mind that I played over and over again one morning, then Ellie-Grace [Summers] came in and added these cool 808 drums. The demo was just that but when we got serious about adding it to the album, we went ahead and expanded it from there. We added full band elements, there's piano, there's a cello, organ, violin. It's one of the most vast musical landscapes on Late Fragment and we're incredibly proud of how it turned out. The title comes from the flower of the same name. That flower is considered to symbolize serenity and a return to happiness, so that imagery clicked with me when I was thinking about the person I was writing this song about. It's basically about seeing someone after a long time, realizing you still love them, and you hook up - yet you want a lot more than only a one night reunion. It's this almost desperate attempt at showing someone you love them and you don't want them to leave."




Lily of the Valley

Going through the motions
Trying to hide all of these emotions
How are we suppose to stay in line?
When we hug we linger for too long
Thank God nobody else is around
I take in your scent in subtleties
I check myself in the mirror before you come over
I think this is falling in love in real time
Are you feeling the same way that I do?
I used to be a mastermind in romance
With you my charm is losing all its glimmer

Can you tell that I just want to kiss you?
Can you tell that I look at you differently?
In a world full of pretenders
How can you be so real?
I don't want you for just one night
I want you for a lifetime


If I could turn back time
I would have proposed to you that afternoon
On the trip we took together to Rome
I've missed so many moments
Can you bring me up to speed?
If you let me in one more time
I promise the best days are still ahead
Put your trust in me
I'm no longer a flight risk

Can you tell that I just want to kiss you?
Can you tell that I look at you differently?
In a world full of pretenders
How can you be so real?
I don't want you for just a single night
I want you to take my name in marriage
I broke your heart once before
There's no way I'm dropping it again


How has life treated you since?
My life has been a rollercoaster with no peaks
Only downward spirals since then
We were drinking wine straight from the bottle
Guess that helped us to be honest
We kissed as if we needed it to survive
We stripped each other of all our clothes
I carried you to bed and we went all night long
I swore we even said "I love you" before sunrise
Please don't be gone by the time I wake up

Can you tell that I just want to kiss you?
Can you tell that I look at you differently?
In a world full of pretenders
How can you be so real?
I don't want you for just a single night
I want you to love me forever and ever
I broke your heart once before
There's no way I'm dropping it again


How's your mother doing these days?
Does your father still curse my name?
You lost some friends thanks to me
Little pieces of yourself because of me
You have every right to hate me
Do you still see some good in me?

Can you tell that I just want to kiss you?
Can you tell that I look at you differently?
In a world full of pretenders
How can you be so real?
I don't want you for just one night
Can you tell that I just want to kiss you?
Can you tell that I look at you differently?
I want you for a lifetime
I need you for a lifetime
In a world full of pretenders
How can you be so real?


---

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#5 Posted : 28 January 2023 13:44:39(UTC)
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Song by Ryan Ross Hernandez
from the album Late Fragment
Title: "Sky Eyes"
Studio: Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles)
Genre: Pop, dance-pop
Length: 3:05
Label: Studio 60 Records
Songwriter: Ryan Ross Hernandez
Producer: Ryan Ross Hernandez • Ellie-Grace Summers

"Sky Eyes" is a song by American singer-songwriter Ryan Ross Hernandez and the lead single from his eighth studio album, Late Fragment. Written by Hernandez, who co-produced it with Ellie-Grace Summers, "Sky Eyes" is a dance-pop song driven by synthesizers and hand-claps. The lyrics discuss a romantic relationship, where the narrator and his partner are navigating their complexities together and dismissing outside forces who try to tear them apart. Studio 60 Records gave Hernandez full creative control in deciding the first single, who ultimately decided on "Sky Eyes" due to it being a favorite among his friends when he played the album to a small group.

The song, as is the case with the majority of the album, was inspired by Hernandez's current love life. Some online speculated that "Sky Eyes" was likely a reference to his current girlfriend having blue eyes, while others argued that the phrase is more of a general reference to a feeling rather than a specific feature or trait. Upon release, the song polarized music critics, some of whom complimented Hernandez for continuing to evolve and try new sounds two decades into his career, while others were disappointed with his decision to move away from his often praised guitar compositions. In countering opinions, The New York Times' critic Christina Gallagher named "Sky Eyes" as the best single Hernandez has written in his career, praising its vocal performance and "breezy dance beat", while journalist Maddie Clark for Pitchfork was of the opinion that the song was one of Hernandez's worst, criticizing the "generic" production and lack of "distinct character".

Ryan Ross Hernandez wrote:
"There's a part of me as an artist who has always wanted to have a song like "Sky Eyes" in my arsenal. I remember the day we began working on this song, I told Ellie-Grace [Summers] that it needed to be this unabashedly pop song. There's other tracks to experiment or get crafty with the guitar work or whatever else is cool - "Sky Eyes" doesn't need any of that because it stands on its own merit of being this super fun, quite catchy pop tune. Everyone involved in recording this song had a blast. I even remember playing it for a few friends at my 45th birthday and there was this really cool moment where everyone in the room was kind of clapping along and getting on their feet. I don't think in my entire career I've ever had that happen when I play a song I made to someone who is also in this industry because typically my music isn't meant to do that. The lyrics and the story are not complex. For a long time in my career I felt like I needed to say things a certain way to be taken seriously. I've been doing this long enough to earn the right to do whatever I want with my creativity. With this song I wanted to have fun and I think it will translate really well at live shows."




Sky Eyes

I wanna fall in love with you
As if I've never felt that feeling before
My heart has been beaten up
It's afraid of everyone
But I'll give you everything blindly
No parachute needed with you
Wreck me whole and make it hurt

I want to rewind time
Watch your life play out like a movie
Your dreams are the storyboard
I'll make every single one come true
I was born before you
So I could build a light for you


I'll tell you
All the things you don't know about yourself
While looking into your sky eyes
You're my whole world
Bigger than the exes who still shit-talk our names
And you know the ones I'm talking about
There's a million reasons floating around us
To tell you we're wrong
If you find one to tell you I'm the right guy
Can you put your faith in my hands?


I know you hate driving
Why don't you spend forever in my passenger seat?
Let's runaway tonight
I'll leave it all behind for that pretty face
And those sky eyes
You say I'm older than all the boys you know
And none of them could ever touch you like I do

I want to rewind time
Watch your life play out like a movie
Your dreams are the storyboard
I'll make every single one come true
I was born before you
So I could build a light for you


I'll tell you
All the things you don't know about yourself
While looking into your sky eyes
You're my whole world
Bigger than the exes who still shit-talk our names
And you know the ones I'm talking about
There's a million reasons floating around us
To tell you we're wrong
If you find one to tell you I'm the right guy
Can you put your faith in my hands?


You got those sky eyes
Making me sky high
You got those sky eyes
Making me sky high
You got those sky eyes
Making me sky high
You got those sky eyes
Making me sky high
You got those sky eyes
Making me sky high
You got those sky eyes
Making me sky high
You got those sky eyes
Making me sky high

I'll tell you
All the things you don't know about yourself
While looking into your sky eyes
You're my whole world
Bigger than the exes who still shit-talk our names
And you know the ones I'm talking about
There's a million reasons floating around us
To tell you we're wrong
If you find one to tell you I'm the right guy
Can you put your faith in my hands?


---

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#6 Posted : 15 March 2023 16:05:54(UTC)
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Song by Ryan Ross Hernandez
from the album Late Fragment
Title: "Sanctifying"
Studio: Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles)
Genre: Pop, funk, synth-pop
Length: 4:09
Label: Studio 60 Records
Songwriter: Ryan Ross Hernandez
Producer: Ryan Ross Hernandez • Ellie-Grace Summers

"Sanctifying" is a song by American singer-songwriter Ryan Ross Hernandez. It was written by Hernandez, who also co-produced it with Ellie-Grace Summers. "Sanctifying" is a synth-pop and funk song that is guitar-forward with an array of synthesizers and percussions to round it out. The song's lyrics discuss the sexual endeavors of a romantic relationship, its unfiltered take on sex was reminiscent to some of Hernandez's past songwriting which utilized physical intimacy as inspiration.

Upon the album's release, "Sanctifying" became one of the most discussed songs due to its explicit sexual content that immediately drew comparisons to Hernandez's blunt take on sex in previous records. The lyrical content drew mixed reactions on social media. Music critics praised the song for its guitarwork and direct lyrics, as well as its clean production. Christina Gallagher for The New York Times' noted that "while [Hernandez] is no stranger to singing about sex, "Sanctifying" is a more mature take on the subject - one where he proclaims a future marriage and parenthood with his girlfriend - built around an infectious funky guitar riff." Billboard's Rebecca Dawson called the song "vintage Ryan Ross Hernandez" and calling the guitar solo one of the best that Hernandez has crafted in his career. Rolling Stone critic Harry Rooney highlighted the overall production as "shimmering, fun, and approachable." Maddie Clark wrote for Pitchfork that "while some will argue that Hernandez has no place to be singing about sex and bragging about his skills in the bedroom at 45 [years old]," she stated that "few" artists are more believable and effective in their delivery. Variety critic Jessie Burrow called "Sanctifying" an infectious song, "which lyrically mixes braggadocious and sincere lyrics over one of Hernandez's most impressive performances on the guitar."

Ryan Ross Hernandez wrote:
"This was the song that took a lot of internal convincing to include on the album. I'm not going to sugarcoat it; "Sanctifying" is about sex. One listen will prove that. Given that several of my lyrics over the past decade or so rely quite heavily on the subject of physical attraction and sex, I didn't want to have another song in that vein. Ultimately I came to the decision of including it on Late Fragment because it's authentic to the overarching theme of a romantic relationship that's explored on the album. To me "Sanctifying" differs from past songs I've written about sex because it's a lot more sensual and intimate and raw. It's coming from a different perspective. It's kind of showing the weird chemical imbalance you hit when you are so in love with someone that sex becomes this almost holy act - where you truly want to do everything in your power to make this person feel amazing. The song itself is funky. The guitar riff is almost like a thump throughout the track and I loved playing that. I have a feeling this song will be a fan favorite because it's more "me" - whatever the fuck that means these days."




Sanctifying

Every morning when we wake
I want to possess you
Not in a machismo kind of way
I'm just no good at sharing
Your body is my addiction
Your mind is my obsession
No twelve-step program can help me
You've rewired the inner working of my brain

I want to be the wine in your glass
Inebriating your inhibitions
I go straight to your head
When I'm buried between your thighs
Your hands grip my hair
While you scream out my name


And we don't need the spotlight
To sanctify our love
We're pulled to each other by a force we cannot see
You tell me all of your secrets
And I let you see parts of me that nobody has
There's no need for an NDA or prenup with you
'Cause we will never talk out of line
And we're both self-made multimillionaires


You change the way I see the world
Now having sex isn't just a passing act
It's the consummation of our love on repeat
We'll do it over and over again
Until we're numb down there
This is the kind of dress you only wear for me
You are the best sex that I've ever had
Won't say no names, won't give no hints

I want to be the wine in your glass
Inebriating your inhibitions
I go straight to your head
When our bodies are tangled up in bed
Our hands exploring every inch
While I whisper honey in your ear


And we don't need the spotlight
To sanctify our love
We're pulled to each other by a force we cannot see
You tell me all of your secrets
And I let you see parts of me that nobody has
There's no need for an NDA or prenup with you
'Cause we will never talk out of line
And we're both self-made multimillionaires


I took you to the moon and back again
All the other girls
They only had me on borrowed time
You're permanent
You'll have all of my time
We'll build a home
We'll make a child

And we don't need the spotlight
(I want to be the wine in your glass)
To sanctify our love
(Inebriating your inhibitions)
We're pulled to each other by a force we cannot see
(I go straight to your head)
You tell me all of your secrets
(When I make you come all night)
And I let you see parts of me that nobody has
(And we'll do it over and over)
There's no need for an NDA or prenup with you
(We never have to leave the house)
'Cause we will never talk out of line
(Baby, you're the one I need)
And we're both self-made multimillionaires


---

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#7 Posted : 12 May 2023 09:32:33(UTC)
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Song by Ryan Ross Hernandez
from the album Late Fragment
Title: "In Perfect Rhythm"
Studio: Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles)
Genre: 3:14
Length: Funk, pop rock
Label: Studio 60 Records
Songwriter: Ryan Ross Hernandez
Producer: Ryan Ross Hernandez • Ellie-Grace Summers

"In Perfect Rhythm" is a song by American singer-songwriter Ryan Ross Hernandez. Written by Hernandez and co-produced alongside frequent collaborator Ellie-Grace Summers, the song is the sixth track on Late Fragment. "In Perfect Rhythm" is a guitar-driven song that features upbeat drums, handclaps, and layered group vocals. Hernandez sings the chorus in a falsetto delivery, the first time the singer has used such delivery in a recording since 2010, following multiple surgeries on his vocal cords in 2012 and 2013. Lyrically, going along with the overall theme of the album at large, "In Perfect Rhythm" is a love song centered around the narrator's realization of his existing feelings towards a former partner. Hernandez has directly called the song a "prequel" to "Lily of the Valley" which is track three on Late Fragment.

Upon the album's release, "In Perfect Rhythm" received mixed reviews from critics, with some calling it a "classic" Hernandez-esque track, while others considered it an overall disappointment. Christina Gallagher of The New York Times wrote a positive review of the song, sharing: "For the first time in what feels like a decade plus, Hernandez is breathing new life into his music and not afraid to explore strap on his guitar and simply have fun," praising Hernandez for his commitment to the overarching love theme on the album. Billboard's Rebecca Dawson also praised Hernandez's vocals and guitar-work. Harry Rooney, writing for Rolling Stone, considered the song a "comfortable yet enjoyable" sound that Hernandez was exploring, specifically giving credit to the production team for giving it a "clean and catchy" sound.

Maddie Clark of Pitchfork wrote a negative review of the song, saying: "By track six it feels like Hernandez ran out of crafty ways to proclaim his feelings to a newfound loving" criticizing the song's lyrics as "repetitive" and "lackluster." Sean Wheeler of The Guardian said, "[Hernandez] continues his pursuit of grasping the sounds of his younger counterparts to various degrees of success with "In Perfect Rhythm" falling into a more unmemorable attempt." Esquire's Julia Martin wrote "while through his two decade long career Hernandez has never been known for his amazing vocal chops, one does wonder if a song like "In Perfect Rhythm" would have been better suited for a stronger voice carrying such a powerful, energetic chorus - that the veteran singer sadly lacks."

Ryan Ross Hernandez wrote:
"To me "In Perfect Rhythm" is the prequel to "Lily of the Valley" that's earlier on the record. The latter is in that Will They or Won't They dynamic of a relationship, where's "In Perfect Rhythm" is a silent proclamation of love when you realize you feel a certain way about someone but have yet to find the words or courage to admit it to them. It's kind of mad, right? The chorus is this sort of speech you tell yourself and you practice over and over again before you speak into the universe to this other person. When Ellie and I were crafting this song in the studio, we purposely wanted to make it this fun, bouncy track. It's very much a pop song - however it does have this almost old-school sound behind it. I personally couldn't hit some of the high notes I wanted on the chorus, so one night we had some friends over, and drank some wine, and we just ended up recording like at least dozen people singing it and layering it behind my voice which makes it really grow and expand in sound. That's I wanted it to be when I wrote the song. It makes me happy hearing it back."




In Perfect Rhythm

The day that you dropped back into my life
It was late 2020 and the world was so strange
We wore masks in the middle of a global pandemic
Those sky eyes alone can still own me whole
We awkwardly hugged
We small talked about the weather and your family
Deep down we both knew it
In that moment then and there
We would never be just friends
'Cause love it runs through our veins
Even after all these years

I don't wanna pretend like you're not
The beat of my heart
The smile on my face
The one in all my songs
I want the world to know that
You're the only reason I survived the salad days
Dancing with you is the best drug even when we miss a few steps
This love's got me racing past the street lights
Speeding through the nuisance to get back to you
Always find me best next to your frame
Always keep you here with me


The night you fell asleep on the couch
After we spoke for hours just like the old days
I cried a little 'cause I remembered what I lost in you
Just like you cried when I left you
With zero warning, you were so young then
Blaming yourself as if you'd done something wrong
Replaying the movie in your head
Thinking the ending needed a better explanation

I don't wanna pretend like you're not
The beat of my heart
The smile on my face
The one in all my songs
I want the world to know that
You're the only reason I survived the salad days
Dancing with you is the best drug even when we miss a few steps
This love's got me racing past the street lights
Speeding through the nuisance to get back to you
Always find me best next to your frame
Always keep you here with me


'Cause I've been dreaming about
Making you my wife
Giving you my whole damn life
Ain't no doubt in my mind
You're the whole world and I'm just living in it
If I lose every other game I play
I misplaced the token of my affinity too many times before
You'll help me erase it as if the internet did not exist

I don't wanna pretend like you're not
The beat of my heart
The smile on my face
The one in all my songs
I want the world to know that
You're the only reason I survived the salad days
Dancing with you is the best drug even when we miss a few steps
This love's got me racing past the street lights
Speeding through the nuisance to get back to you
Always find me best next to your frame
Always keep you here with me


---

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#8 Posted : 17 May 2023 09:28:11(UTC)
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Song by Ryan Ross Hernandez
from the album Late Fragment
Title: "Memories You Left"
Studio: Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles)
Genre: Synth-pop
Length: 3:42
Label: Studio 60 Records
Songwriter: Ryan Ross Hernandez
Producer: Ryan Ross Hernandez • Ellie-Grace Summers

"Memories You Left" is a song by American singer-songwriter Ryan Ross Hernandez. Track seven on Late Fragment was written by Hernandez and co-produced with Ellie-Grace Summers. "Memories You Left" is according to Hernandez the only "true breakup song" on the album, adding to speculation built through other songs on the project that the autobiographical love story that is explored throughout Late Fragment is based on his reconnection with an ex-girlfriend from his past. The song is built around 80s-synths, thumping drums, and a heavy bass presence. Upon release, the media and fans surmised that that the song might have been inspired by Hernandez's romantic relationship with Summers which ended shortly after her 20th birthday in 2012. The assumed narrative only grew when Hernandez revealed that much of the lyrics were written in 2013, a decade prior to the release of Late Fragment.

"Memories You Left" received critical acclaim for its instrumentation, vocals, and production; however was met with polarizing reviews regarding its lyrical content. Kimberly Wayne of the Associated Press said the song was a "career highlight" specifically complimenting its airy instrumentation and strong vocal performance by Hernandez, but referring to its lyrics as "at times uncomfortable" to listen to. The New Yorker's Alison Spencer called the track an "instant classic" going on to share "part of Hernandez's charm for years has been his hyper self-awareness that often showcases itself by admitting his wrongdoings, apologizing for it, and engaging listeners to speculate the "who" behind each story."

Variety writer Jessie Burrow regarded the song as "emotionally potent", going on say "few male artists have the capability to portray themselves in a blunt negative light without holding much back" praising the production as some of the best on the album. In an opposing review, Billboard's Rebecca Dawson wrote "Hernandez's acknowledgement of toxic masculine traits and potential grooming do not make his past behavior any better," going on to state that it was "problematic" behind thinly veiled "wokeness." Echoing similar thoughts Maddie Clark for Pitchfork called the song "off-putting" and "unnecessary" to include on the album.

Ryan Ross Hernandez wrote:
"Track seven "Memories You Left" has a pretty interesting backstory. It was the last song that was completed and added to the final Late Fragment track listing. However, most of the lyrics were written about a decade ago and it somewhat had a composition around it already. I largely don't look back at ideas that I've had during past album cycles because I've always had the mentality that if it were a good enough song it would have been completed and made the cut then. "Memories You Left" was the exception to that rule because I kept coming back to it which as a songwriter you have to believe that means something. I brought it up towards the end of the recording sessions and it was a day where only Ellie and I were in the studio - we didn't have any engineers or session musicians in that day. I remember sitting on the piano just messing around and I sang everything but the bridge because it didn't have one written yet. When I was done Ellie stands right beside me and goes "that's really good, we need to record that immediately." That was a moment where I was incredibly thankful to have her in the room when I was working on this album because if it were me I would have dismissed it right away. I think as an artist you need someone who is going to hold you true and say "whether it's good or bad, you have to see it through." Thanks to Ellie-Grace we ended up with this really beautiful song and a favorite of mine on the entire project. It was a reflective moment both in terms of finally finishing the song and also knowing the lyrics were no longer autobiographical to me now as they were in 2013 when I wrote the bulk of them. I know someone will listen to this song and have a profound connection with it which is the goal when you're a singer-songwriter."




Memories You Left

Is it unfair of me to say
Say that I miss you
When I was the one who left
I, I hate the internet
And the Google alerts I put on for your name
Just waiting for the day
I'd see you with someone new
And when that day came
My pride got in the way
I smashed my phone
I guess I have some toxic masculine traits
I still have some work to do on myself

I live each and every day
With the memories you left behind
Do you still keep them close to heart?
In a locket only I can open?
'Cause you've never loved someone like you loved me
You gave me everything
I was almost every first for you
I remember your thin hand holding mine so tight
Why did I ever let it go?


There's a picture I still have of you
Hidden on my phone
Password protected to not start shit
It was from your twentieth birthday party
The dress you wore is still etched in my brain
You kept your arm around me like the whole night
Red lipstick stains on my glass
Your friends started joking about engagement rings
Closing in on our two year anniversary
I laughed along
Kissed your forehead
Held you by the waist
Was my lack of communication stringing you along at the time?

I live each and every day
With the memories you left behind
Do you still keep them close to heart?
In a locket only I can open?
'Cause you've never loved someone like you loved me
You gave me everything
I was almost every first for you
I remember your thin hand holding mine so tight
Why did I ever let it go?


Running away from you was for the best
I was an avalanche cascading down
Ready to destroy this whole damn city
You would have hated me more if you saw who I became thereafter
I pray your heart has healed
From the scars I caused in your youth
I know I put you through hell
And I'm sorry

I live each and every day
With the memories you left behind
Do you still keep them close to heart?
In a locket only I can open?
'Cause you've never loved someone like you loved me
You gave me everything
I was almost every first for you
I remember your thin hand holding mine so tight
Why did I ever let it go?


Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?
Why did I ever let you go?

---

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