By Manna Zel
After years of penning lyrics for some of pop’s biggest stars, singer-songwriter Phoebe Ryan has arrived with a powerful debut album of her own. “How It Used To Feel” is a 13-track reflection on the experiences that have fueled Ryan’s free spirit and creative nature, and it’s out today via independently popular. She announced the album last December with “ICIMY,” the first single and the album’s opener.
In Ryan’s debut as a fully autonomous songwriter and artist, she unflinchingly explores vital lessons from her past, like the time a guy she’d been dating let her know in a text that he was also seeing someone else. Ryan was upset for ten minutes before she started writing “Talk To Me,” the second song on the album.
“Communication is something I write about often because I’ve been in way too many situations where I’ve experienced just how bad texting has fucked us all up,” Ryan shares in a statement about writing the song, which she performed at Paste Studio NYC this past February. “It’s so hard for people to be honest face-to-face. I think it’s important to remind (and challenge!) people to speak up when something is bothering them, and not hide behind a screen.”
Catch the rest of Phoebe Ryan’s album below and read ahead for her answers to YTTP’s Youth Questionnaire, her pick from our collection of questions on topics like freedom, contentment, pride, ego, affirmation, dreams, and energy.
Question 11: What is your favorite flower or tree, and why?
I would say my all-time favorite flowers are daffodils and alliums, but right now I love rhododendrons, Japanese Maple, and lythrum. They’ve all been especially beautiful in my hometown this summer. My mom teaches me about all this stuff. That’s probably why I like it so much. Because I get to learn it from her.
Question 12: To you, what is the most soothing sound?
The quick second of silence you hear when you drive under a bridge when it’s raining. A close second is my best friend’s laughter.
Question 16: What song lyric, lines of a poem, or other excerpt best describes your outlook?
“She’s got everything she needs, she’s an artist, she don’t look back. She can take the dark out of the nighttime and paint the daytime black.” I love this lyric by Bob Dylan. I aspire to that level of independence, creativity, and strength.
Photo courtesy of Ron Dadon