Album Review: RY X, 'Dawn'

Australian singer-songwriter Ry Cuming, who now goes by the stage name RY X, has always had one hand on his guitar and the other wiping away a tear.

His second full album — following 2010’s self-titled, major label debut Ry Cuming — continues to elicit wistful emotion with his plaintive vocals, gentle guitar and tasteful electronic accompaniment.

In Dawn, RY X continues along the lines of his sleeper 2013 single “Berlin” — which is the centrepiece of Dawn — a sparse, haze-like ballad that sounds like what loneliness would be if it were a pop song.

Despite the ethereal, longing tone of Dawn, RY X’s sentiments are not unbearably forlorn. The production greatly helps the record from falling into a dolor dirge, swaying like a wave from quiet stripped-down acoustic guitar-vocal moments (“Sweat”) to crescendos of driving EDM synths (“Haste”).

Dawn confidently wears its quiet, broken heart on its sleeve in a way that’s poignant, pop and powerful.