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“…a band rapidly outgrowing the alt-country label slapped on their debut.” -City Pages
It took a near-death breakdown across the country to help Ryan Paul find his voice. The Minneapolis native entered the music scene in 1999 as Jeremy Ylvisaker’s (Andrew Bird/Alpha Consumer/Cloak Ox) guitar tech and began playing guitar and touring with a smattering of Twin Cities art-rock bands.
Ryan gathered a band of veteran Minneapolis musicians, including Paul’s father on guitar and mandolin, and
acclaimed drummer Steve Goold, Paul formed Ryan Paul and the Ardent in 2008. Originally intended as a onetime project, the band emerged as a vehicle for Ryan’s sincere songwriting – a genre-bending brand of Americana rooted in Paul’s personal struggles and story.
After disbanding the Ardent in May 2011, Ryan brought three friends together who had known each other through different projects: keyboardist Cory Eischen (RPTA, Mayda, ELnO), bassist Joe Downing (Minor Kingdom), and drummer Alexander Young (Bella Ruse).
“I changed my sound again,” Plewacki told City Pages in June. “It’s louder now – has an edge – gritty.” Sleep Study played several well-received shows in fall 2011, and are recording a full-length album to be released early 2012.
“Ryan Paul and the Ardent traffic in the sort of dusky folk-pop that’s long had its bread buttered here in town… slightly urban and gritty quality to the work that separates it out from the legions of Jayhawks imitators in their midst.” – Twin Cities Metromix