Review: Ryley Walker’s “Sweet Satisfaction”



When I typed Ryley Walker’s name into Google for a little context before writing this review, the first thing that came up was an NPR Music writeup about Walker’s latest album, Primrose Green. Its author praises Walker’s use of acoustic-electric guitar riffs to create an unplugged sound that’s more punk rock than coffee shop. He undoubtedly likes Walker’s sound.

As a public radio fangirl, I am generally inclined to agree with NPR. As a human being with functioning ears, I am most definitely inclined to really like this song. There are thousands of talented, acoustic guitar-toting singer-songwriters out there, but to be perfectly frank, a great many of them just sound the same. Walker, however, is a truly unique talent. “Sweet Satisfaction” is unlike anything I’ve heard recently. Walker’s vocals are paradoxically rough and buttery-smooth (almost like the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, but folksier). But the guitar riffs are where this song truly shines – “Sweet Satisfaction” opens with a soft acoustic melody, introducing a grating electric backdrop about halfway through, and builds into a powerful, acoustic-electric sound party (for lack of a better term) that’s as technically skilled as it is packed with raw emotion. It’s lively. It’s fresh. It’s awesome.

After listening to “Sweet Satisfaction” on repeat a few times, I’m personally beyond excited to hear the rest of Primrose Green. So take it from me – and NPR – Ryley Walker definitely needs to be on your radar.


Take a look at Ryley Walker’s tour dates to see if he’s coming to a city near you:

Thu. Apr. 2 – Iowa City, IA @ Mission Creek Festival (w/ Real Estate)

Thu. May 7 – St. Louis, MO @ The Luminary Center for the Arts

Sat. May 9 – Austin, TX @ Levitation

Mon. May 11 – Atlanta, GA @ 529

Tue. May 12 – Carroboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle

Fri. May 15 – Portland, ME @ SPACE Gallery

Sat. May. 16 – Hudson, NY @ The Half Moon

Mon. May 18 – Cleveland, OH @ Euclid Tavern

Fri. May 29 – Nelsonville, OH @ Nelsonville Music Festival

Tue. June 2 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo

Wed. June 3 – Long Beach, CA @ Carpenter House

Sun. June 7 – Vancouver, BC @ Levitation – Vancouver

Mon. June 8 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza

Tue. June 9 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge

Thu. June 11 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium

Fri. June 12 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel

Sat. June 13 – Sonoma, CA @ Huichica Festival

Thu. June 18 – Montreal, QC @ La Virtrola (Souni Festival w/ Myriam Gendron)

Sat. June 20 – Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club (NXNE)

Sat. June 27 – North Adams, MA @ Solid Sound Music Festival

Fri. July 17 – Chicago, IL @ Union Park (Pitchfork Music Festival)





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