Ryley Walker ⟡ Mordo Mia

Galeria Zé dos Bois

©Mallory Hawkins

Ryley Walker

Ryley Walker began his career in the early 2010s, after moving from the provincial town of Rockford, Illinois, and settling into Chicago’s independent scene. After a series of cassette and vinyl releases, Tompkins Square released their debut album in 2014, followed by Primrose Green, released by Dead Oceans a year later. His most recent album, Course in Fable, was released on his own label Husky Pants Recordings in 2021.

Having toured with the likes of Richard Thompson, and with support for Dinosaur Jr. looming – as well as a tremendous Bert Jansch tribute show, in which his heroine Anne Briggs called him the “c-word” – Walker has been alongside the best.

Whereas, in the past, his desire to be as big as his influences may have dogged him and prevented him from bringing his own personality to his music, now Walker’s music is undeniably his own. A mixture of Twitter and sobriety may be partly responsible. “Music is an exciting thing that I can do because I’m alive and well. I take every opportunity I’m given very seriously; I have to pay tribute to that by staying alive and being as good as I can to the people who love me,” he said.

Mordo Mia

Mordo Mia are a bad slap with two octaves of seven metres. In 2023 they made their contribution to raucous national ballet music with “Sit Down First”, recorded, produced and released on their own. While they’re picking up the reeds, they’re preparing the second one live, flesh and blood.

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