Bryan John Appleby is a singer/songwriter and composer living in Seattle, WA. After moving to the Pacific Northwest from Central Coast California in 2007 as a drummer in short-lived indie rock outfit, Bryan switched his focus to guitar and spent several seasons penning the songs that comprised his 2009 EP Shoes for Men and Beasts. Bryan’s early live shows – many of which took place at open mic nights, dubbed “the batting cages” – quickly earned him a reputation as a notable lyricist and a compelling solo performer, often surprising crowded bars and basements to a heady, affecting silence with his clear voice and intricately crafted lyrics.
Over the next few years, Appleby crafted a more expansive batch of songs, and the increasing involvement of a live band added complex and often unexpected instrumental layers to live performances. Following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign to make possible 2011’s debut LP release Fire on the Vine, he and the band spent much of the next year touring, most significantly in a spot supporting The Head and the Heart’s national tour.
This exposure established Appleby firmly within the thriving NW folk soundscape and garnered enthusiastic support from a widespread community of national and international listeners – Fire on the Vine was named Album of the Week by Bandcamp upon its release, and continues to receive heavy rotation on Spotify, with over 3 million plays for the song “Honey Jars” alone. Appleby’s music has been lauded by KEXP and Sound on the Sound, drawing comparisons to Damien Jurado and Devendra Banhart, and receiving placements in short films and TV. He and the band have performed around the US with Damien Jurado, Blitzen Trapper, Deep Sea Diver, Hey Marseilles, Pickwick, Pure Bathing Culture, and Gold Leaves, among others.
Appleby’s much anticipated forthcoming full-length release The Narrow Valley (November 2015), crafted with Seattle producer Sam Anderson, deals with the sun-bleached landscape of his youth – a dreamy, densely constructed cinematic world more musically tied to the maximalist West Coast pop traditions of outsider California composers like Van Dyke Parks and Brian Wilson than to the folk roots of Appleby’s early work. The Narrow Valley’s orchestral character takes dramatic steps away from heartfelt folk balladry, showcasing Appleby’s deftness in composition and arrangement while still managing to deliver the epic line-by-line lyricism he is known for. Whether re-interpreting the songs with the influence of his long-standing live band (multi-instrumentalist Kyle Zantos, bassist Joe Ruppert, drummer Cole Mauro) or performing alone, his range as a writer and performer continually expands outward, and he maintains his ability to connect with and capture the attention of his audiences.