SET TIME: 6:30 PM
For Serena Ryder, music is medicine. It’s the thing that soothes any ailment, and it’s the reason to keep going, even when times get tough. Ryder has always been compelled to write songs, both because she loves creating music and because it heals her, inside and out. The Canadian singer-songwriter, who is currently based between Toronto and the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silverlake, started playing guitar and penning songs as a teenager. She’s unveiled several albums, including her successful 2012 record Harmony, and now Ryder is prepared to bring her thoughtful, emotionally driven tracks to a bigger audience.
The musician’s new EP, Electric Love, contains six songs that reveal this sentiment. Written and recorded over the course of three years in Nashville, Los Angeles, Toronto and London, the songs were culled from nearly 100 that Ryder has created since Harmony’s release. After she’d finished touring on that last effort, the singer left Toronto for Los Angeles, where she spent time riding her bicycle near the ocean and wandering through Venice. She was dealing with a bad breakup and wasn’t sure what to do next. “There’s this pressure of being able to match yourself and your past successes,” Ryder says. “I wasn’t really familiar with that feeling before this. But when I went to LA for a break I realized, ‘Actually I love my job. I love writing.’”
Electric Love contains six tracks that come from Ryder’s next album, which will follow later this year. Because they were written over several years, the songs encompass a variety of emotional tones and styles. Like many artists, Ryder often finds herself in different periods of highs and lows, which is reflected in these tracks. “These songs are amazing because they weren’t done over the period of a few weeks or months like I’ve done in the past,” she says. “The EP is really a spectrum for me of emotion in my life. I have a spectrum of different realities I go through. A lot of times I’ll either be in one or the other when I’m writing a record, but this was the full spectrum of what I experience.”