Review of William Ryan Key’s Upcoming Album, Virtue

On November 26th, William Ryan Key (formerly of Yellowcard) will be releasing his new EP, Virtue. Virtue is his second EP after, Thirteen, which dropped earlier this summer. Both albums similarly cover his past and emotional states; however, Virtue seems to be more instrumentally elaborate than Thirteen. Virtue will be released by The Lone Tree Recordings.

Virtue is composed of six songs that uniquely build suspenseful crescendos from soft acoustic guitar to orchestra and rock instrumentals. William’s angelic voice also mixes well with the predominant use of acoustic guitar in the album.

The most notable and emotional song in Virtue is ‘Down (Up North)’. In ‘Down (Up North)’. Ryan sings about how he plans to wait for a woman he loves rather than move on. The emotional and seemingly personal lyrics are amplified by a mixture of somber guitar and cello instrumentals.

In an interview, Ryan stated that, “Working on ‘Downtown (Up North)’ was one of the coolest experiences of my musical career,” he recalls. “For many years now the music I listen to the most has been post rock and instrumental. One of my favorite and most influential artists is Hammock. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Marc Byrd, one of the founding members, since I’ve moved to Franklin, TN. When I started writing for Virtue and had the demo for ‘Downtown’, I sent it to Marc and asked if he’d be interested in producing some cello for the song. I ended up getting to work with him and Hammock’s cellist, Matt Slocum [Sixpence None the Richer] on the track. I feel so lucky to get to work and collaborate with artists that inspire me.“

You can listen to ‘Downtown (Up North)’ below:

You can pre-order Virtue at: and view his full tour schedule below: