Tomorrowland, the title of Ryan Bingham's new album, sounds futuristic, but the Oscar-winning singer/songwriter hints, Maybe it's not so much about looking ahead as it is about leaving things behind.
The album contains plenty of the pliant acoustic work that has marked Bingham's previous studio sets, but Tomorrowland expands his musical landscape exponentially. Guitars howl into keyboards and drums stomp against strings, all bolstered by Bingham's jagged, weather-beaten vocals.
By turns deeply confessional (Never Far Behind), and by others unflinchingly observant about society's underbelly (the epic Rising of the Ghetto), Tomorrowland features Bingham's fearless honesty throughout. It helps to say it and get it out that way, he says. That's what writing songs has always been about for me, it's never been about anything else. That's always been my thing.
With more experience and a mantel full of awards, like his 2010 Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy wins for his song The Weary Kind from 2009's Crazy Heart, the 31-year old Bingham finds himself, in many ways, back at the beginning. Recording Tomorrowland for his own Axster Bingham Records felt totally liberating, he says. Doing this label and the new music on our own had led me back to writing songs that sustain me. It's a whole new adventure for me.