Ryan Woods takes a sweet, soulful look at love from a distance on " Bad Texter"!

Love and relationships are complicated and confusing at the best of times, as we often say here at We Are: The Guard. Considering how closely love is tied to our survival, it can call up the most intense emotions. Being in love can make you feel like you're getting mugged in a dark alley while slaloming down a mountain face to save a baby from a burning building. It has an uncanny ability to bring up our strongest emotions, in every direction.

The love gurus love to talk about communicating in relationships. Spend even 5 minutes on an internet dating advice form, and you'll see that word 100 times. "Communication is key," the internet anonymites will sagely intone. "Communication is everything." And they're not wrong. There's also just a little bit more to it than that.

If anyone happens to be in a relationship with someone they're not cohabitating with during the Coronavirus quarantine, you've likely run across this once or twice. Communication involves a lot more than simply saying words. "Words are cheap," as another saying goes. And yet, vast swathes of people are living and loving via text message, Messenger, and Zoom meetings. It's a bad time to be a "Bad Texter," as put forth by Tennessean Ryan Woods.



"Bad Texter'' explores an intense but confusing relationship. Woods is pretty sure things would work out just fine if they could just be alone in the same room together. They'd be able to see they love one another, care about each other, are there for each other. Conveying these things over text is a whole new level, however. It's like trying to have Dostoyoevsky's social understanding combined with Rumi's sacred heart and condensed to Oscar Wilde's concise wit. Oh, if we were all such romantic geniuses! Sadly, this is not so for probably 99.999% of humanity.

Listening to "Bad Texter" will help you feel better about that, though. He may be delving into some serious subject matter but "Bad Texter" is pure pop hedonism. A bouncing bassline bubbles and froths like a fizzy lifting drink while colorful psychedelic swirls dance around the margins, all setting the scene for Ryan Woods' cosmopolitan croon. If you've been waiting for a collaboration between The Strokes and The Gorillaz, this should hold you over nice. It's his first proper single, even. Expect great things from Ryan Woods!

Pride 2020 Emerging Artists & Favorites

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.