By Amy Hunt, 20, reporting from Lexington, Kentucky, on an actor whose band actually rocks
You know who Ryan Gosling is? You do—or am I the only one who feels compelled to watch The Notebook every time it's on TV? You may have even heard that he has a band, but you probably shrugged it off: Not another actor thinking he can start a music career. In fact, when I first mentioned the existence of Gosling's band to a friend, she shot back, "They probably suck." To which I replied, "Oh, I love them."
Dead Man's Bones, comprised of Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields, released their self-titled first album last year, and after a few listens, I was hooked. This album that I purchased on a whim—simply because I needed to add something to my Amazon cart to get free shipping—has become one of my favorites.
Many ways of describing their music have been tossed around (doo-wop to gospel to Halloween), and I'll agree with most of them. It just sounds wonderful. The entire album has a 1950s B-horror movie feel to it that works so well it might confuse you at first. Pitchfork called their "creepy and catchy" song "In the Room Where You Sleep" "pretty damn good" and "a middle school assembly gone goth." Tracks like "Lose Your Soul" and "Buried in Water" are dark and eerie, yet others, like "My Body's A Zombie For You" and "Pa Pa Power," are tunes that I find myself dancing and smiling to.
What's most fantastic about the album, though, is the accompanying Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir, whose youthful voices take the music to a whole 'nother level. And when Gosling and Shields went on tour last year, they included children's choirs from each city. When watching videos of performances on YouTube, I was struck by how much fun the kids looked like they were having during the shows (their comments confirm it)—and how happy and grateful they seemed to be a part of it all.
And if that doesn't move you, you can probably catch The Notebook on some channel tonight.