For years, Ryan Oyer has been adding to the musical wealth of Chattanooga, providing a strong and assured alt-country/rock voice that deftly evokes the feeling of friends gathered close on a quiet spring evening and acoustic guitars played with voices raised together. His work is familiar yet spiked with a kind of rural kineticism which keeps it from falling alongside the music of countless other artists who draw from this same musical reservoir. Oyer invests a deep sense of community and earnest emotionality in every verse and chorus, elevating his take on these well-worn rhythms and melodic ideas above those of his peers.
And it’s from that sense of honest emotion and community that his latest single, “Little Bird,” is born, a loving indie-folk ode to his wife. Anchored by bouts of shuffling percussion and nimble acoustic plucks, Oyer paints a passionate and complex portrait of a woman who has influenced his life in countless ways. The song blooms in unexpected ways, with gorgeous strings entering the frame and providing a suitable heft to the already densely emotional landscape.
In this romantic undertaking, Oyer has enlisted a cavalcade of local musicians including Butch Ross, Nick Lutsko, Danimal Pinson, Michael McDade, Michael Salter, Megan Howard, Stephanie Brooks, Kelsey Crabtree, Jessica Nunn and Hannah Kuhn Bleasdale. Add despite the extensive roster, there is an appropriate intimacy reflective of the thoughts contained within. The song still circles around Oyer and his devotion to his wife, with his band offering their assistance from the periphery — allowing the focus to remain on his words and their ensuing emotions. “Little Bird” is a tender offering that lovingly details one man’s affection for the person around whom his heart revolves.