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Ryan Hemsworth: Show Preview 

Wednesday, Jan 22 2014

Once upon a time, kids grew up on cheap electric guitars purchased out of the Sears catalog and started garage bands. Today's upstart music producers, however, cut their teeth on the sleek keys of a MacBook. Canadian Ryan Hemsworth knows this — he dealt in "real" instruments until going to college, when he got his first Apple laptop and started exploring the world of software. He works it better than most twentysomethings. Hemsworth's evocative soundscapes deposit smooth vocals and vaporous textures over beats and pacing borrowed from hip-hop and R&B. Ethereality and head-nodding being now all the rage, Hemsworth's skill on the trackpad shot him to buzzworthy status last year, with the requisite Pitchfork interview and everything. His debut album, last fall's Guilt Trips, distills his stuttering take on electronic R&B to a pleasant immersion: there's lots of breathing room, but enough elements flitting in and out that it feels native to this hyperactive age.

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Ian S. Port

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