You no longer have to feel lonely on those cold summer nights, just listen to Warm Body.
Get lost in nostalgia with NYC’s Ryan Foster’s solo project. A mix of catchy pop melodies, thoughtful lyrics and garage solos, this sound will keep you company through the summer.
The debut LP Nightshade Honey will be out later this year and is supposed to encompass every emotion the summertime brings out. Loneliness, happiness, liveliness—Foster calls it some of his best work yet. “The music came out sounding like a love letter to summer,” he tells BTRtoday. “I’m confident that I’ve captured some magic here.”
Foster grew up listening and practicing playing to classic rock. However, it was when he started playing with friends that he really started to feel a connection to music. In fact, though Warm Body is currently a solo project, he imagines it someday being a collaborative project. “I wanted it [Warm Body] to be warm and inviting to other talent to participate in,” he says. “Maybe to eventually be a collective democracy of songwriters.”
Today we are happy to premiere the single “Cold Summer” by Warm Body. The song has a beat that is impossible not to tap along with and a melody certain to stay in your head. Foster describes the track as a confession to when you know a relationship is “doomed” but still you’re holding on “to dear life.”
We’ve all been there and we’ve all tried to hold on. But now it’s time; let go and listen to the newest from Warm Body, “Cold Summer,” and read the entire interview with Foster below.
BTRtoday (BTR): Why the name Warm Body?
Ryan Foster (RF): It was a very happy moment when I settled on the name, which was actually almost crossed out on a little list of potential names. I remember writing down ‘warm body’ and liking how it looked and sounded, how it addressed the fact that this was a solo project as well as also being a mission statement—describing the very sound of the music in a collection I wanted to create. I also wanted it to be warm and inviting to other talent to participate in, maybe to eventually be a collective democracy of songwriters.
BTR: Your sound seems poppy, yet still very garage rock, so I bet you have tons of influences. Where do you think your sound morphed from?
RF: It’s all about an earful of melody. The earliest songs I came up with were rock guitar songs with the usual big melodic chorus. That’s the actual seed you can trace my roots back to and what I do best, I guess.
I feel like at some point I surpassed seeing music as a transient element in life, and I love the perfection of pop music, but I relish the more challenging music and the rewards that are earned by repeated listening more than anything. I don’t operate within a predetermined framework, but I tend to just work with what I know—hence the abundant guitars, and the abstract noises I throw at the songs to give them their own charm, but they felt necessary.
BTR: What’s your musical past like? Did you grow up playing music and listening to rock or is this a more recent development?
RF: I was shown a lot of classic rock and pop music by my parents, and it definitely was my first serious pursuit to play it, but it never felt very personal until I was playing it with friends. That’s where I had the steadiest fulfillment and identified with it and started to gradually feel more and more consumed by it.
Creativity began to blossom. I played in a variety of bands and honed my guitar skills a bit, but mostly I just got good at spicing up other people’s ideas; never technically great but I could bring a whole slew of ideas to any table. It wasn’t until later that actual songs took shape.
BTR: What outside sources other than music influences your style?
RF: I tend to think I draw from what weighs on my heart the most, but truth is I’ve written songs about things like Disney, a porn enthusiast and astronauts finding water on the moon. [laughs]
Relationships have fueled the lyrics more frequently as I’ve written more and more songs, because I tend to want the songs to hold the most meaning to me—to be like snapshots of their subjects or memories, abstractions and all. I’ve got an existential cocktail in my soul that could write another twenty records easily.
BTR: Tell me about this single “Cold Summer.”
RF: It’s about feeling like you know a relationship is doomed, but you’re still clinging to it for dear life. Silver linings as your compass, and questioning everything you think you know along the way. This song actually stewed somewhat steadily for a while after it was written, and when it came time to record it I had it all planned out and it happened fast. The whole goal became tapping into some kind of vibe or feeling that felt at once both warm and nostalgic, but also sad and happy. I think it worked.
When I started writing this record, Nightshade Honey, there was a major lyrical shift into personal territory, but the music came out sounding like a love letter to summer and just feeling good in general. I had the specific goal to make a summer record with this album, and I’m confident that I’ve captured some magic here, some of my best work. Recording these songs was a lot of fun and I kept the vibe loose and open to collaboration; my longtime friends Gary Norton and Adam Gieckel play on it too. Writing “Cold Summer” was cathartic in the same way a more poppy song like “KOOL” was an absolute joy to perform.
BTR: What’s your view on music as an art form? Do you think its worth is up to the listener’s interpretation or the artist’s?
RF: I think art is just as potent as medicine in a lot of ways, because it always has been for me. Art is everything, and everything is art, certainly, but it’s all about your personal perspective. People pirate music for free or stream it for cheap, and I just wonder who makes time to really dive into an album and breathe it in, to feel like it was made for you or that it exists to give your own life meaning. Those feelings are real to me, and that’s a feeling I relate to art in general. I think it’s absolutely up to the listener, cause that was me.
BTR: What should we look out for in the future of Warm Body?
RF: My next goal is the physical and vinyl release of this upcoming record, Nightshade Honey. As well as playing the new songs in a live setting and having some fun rediscovering them in that context. I’ve also got a cassette reissue of some previous EPs coming out soon, and as always more new music on the way.