Exercise the Spirit

Ramona Silver

Energy and grit with sweet tooth for harmonies and colorful songwriting. A lyric armor and vocal sincerity that triumphs over tough topics as depression and separation.

Exercise the Spirit revisits the youthful energy and grit of early RS (circa, You & Me & Hell, 1993). These 5 songs tout a continued love for surprising melodies and rhythms, and vocals sung full-voice or cautiously up close. Mostly uptempo, this brief collection of introspective songs pushes back against dark forces many of us need to talk about these days: insecurity, depression, and separation. "Run to Hide" and "Lazy Bones" are direct conversations with the self-saboteur. Landmine is a love song to a dear one battling a dark, impenetrable lowness. "Ageless Pill (Called Playing)" and "Exercise the Spirit" call out the crazy speed of life and the need to lean on more than humanness to be kind. "Exercise..." is the last track, believing that, in the end, the Spirit can transport us, transform us, if given the invitation.

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Small Circle of Light

Ramona Silver

A unique blend of melodic pop/rock guitar and moody keyboard balladry, rich with harmonic vocal textures.

Ramona Silver’s 6th release, Small Circle of Light, taps a range of musical influences from the 1970s-80s: Til Tuesday to The Carpenters; Harry Nilsson to Nanci Griffith; Brian Wilson to Queen. The blend of these, however, comes out distinctly Silver’s, 2011. Trading off between guitars and keyboards, Silver's new batch of songs go beyond her trend of eclectic pop/rock with a new maturity of sounds and poignant lyrics.

Silver’s trademark Les Paul guitar keeps its rightful edgy place in her lineup of sonic colors, as in the eerie opener, “Hero,” and the triumphant pop of “Idiot’s Delight.” While these two songs differ in writing styles, both are closet rockers the listener must wade into to fully experience. Hero's slow groove buildup of guitar/bass/drums mixes with an atmospheric carousel organ halfway through, and the lyrics follow suit. Though at the start she directs her pining towards a male figure hero, the lyric moves outward to show a bigger frustration -- the longing too long for life’s fulfillment. Easier to read is “Idiot’s Delight,” a straight-ahead, hooky rock gem displaying vivid snapshots of a worn-out domestic argument, with a bite (“There’s a silence in the kitchen, never heard eggs fry so loud”).

The acoustic guitar-based “State of Being Grey” and “Salt of the Sea” offer space for glimpsing rhythm loops, Wurly sounds, kid gang vocals, and even a passing train. While “State…” reflects fearfully on growing old in different relationships (in this case, with a lover, a mother, and the Earth), “Salt...” is a happier resignation that each day is a gift just to be alive (“I’m a lucky me to be free, I’m a lucky lung just to breathe”).

The CD turns toward a lament on the two piano-based songs, “Big Fat Lie” and “Small Circle of Light,” in which darker vocals and harmonic bass lines float over a subdued parlor piano. Though likely a typical set up for brooding young-love lyrics, Silver instead speaks to the conflicts facing older hearts. In Big Fat Lie, she wants “out” before a relationship even begins (“There’s a better place to be then wasting away on pretty dreams”), and in the title track, “Small Circle of Light” Silver weighs years of a messy but still committed relationship (“I know we weren’t always truthful 60 years of life, and these are pills we have to take to help us sleep at night”). The latter song closes the CD with a slow, swirling buildup of voices and instruments, rippling echoes on the final word "light," only to end with a long fade of discordant piano notes. It's a blurry light, but a light nonetheless.

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Intermission

Ramona Silver

infectious pop/rock

She's one of the best songwriters in any genre that this town has produced...wit style, substance, smart melodies and muscle. - Billboard

Silver has the wit, attitude, and song craft skills of Liz Phair, a magnetic presence. - Boston Phoenix

Vivid song craft and an obvious need to do things her way with imagination and style. - CMJ Weekly

Ramona Silver is a virtuoso of pop song craft, and her contribution to the Boston music scene will stand the test of time. - The Noise, Rock Around Boston

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Death By Candy

Ramona Silver

Wit, style, substance with intelligent lyrics, smart melodies and muscle. Powerful without the riot grrl trappings.

"Death by Candy," combines the melodicism of "Ultrasound" (1998) with the grittier guitar textures of Silver's "You & Me & Hell" (1995)--witty, insightful slices of pop all sung with soul and open-hearted grace.

The songs of "Death By Candy" work together as an integrated whole and while there are obvious standout singles like the lyrical "The Saint of 99," featuring Silver's luxuriously luscious vocals, or the gorgeously delicate "Motherbee," the disc tastes best when swallowed whole.

The melodic highs and the gentle breezes of a song like "Residue"--as pretty a song as you will hear all year--go down better juxtaposed with the funky, rock solid "Renter's Hell" and "Care Package," on which the singer gets down and dirty.

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Ultrasound

Ramona Silver

She sounds like a sisterly version of Jonathan Richman in her oblique street-simple yet street smart lyrics that posit such philosophical puzzles as "Being's just a reaction to everything we can't control" ...

What has marked the work of Ramona Silver up to this point has been her vivid songcraft and her obvious need to do things her way with imagination and style. Silver steers clear of the paint-by-numbers rock acts...a collection of tunes that rely on her colorful vocals, calliope keyboards, and delicious hooks. It's a supremely savvy effort.

She sounds like a sisterly version of Jonathan Richman in her oblique street-simple yet street-smart lyrics that posit such philosophical puzzles as "Being's just a reaction to everything we can't control." -- The Boston Globe

From Aimee Mann to Jennifer Trynin to Mary Lou Lord, the next in line is Ramona Silver. She's one of the best young songwriters in any genre that Boston has produced...wit, style, substance, with intelligent lyrics, smart meldodies and muscle. Undoubtedly, Silver's a major talent.-- Billboard Magazine

There are a lot of great female artists coming out of New England right now, but few come close to Ramona Silver. Silver and her band are truly charming performers and songwriters, and Ultrasound is the album that finally captures what this act is all about. -- CMJ Weekly

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You & Me & Hell

Ramona Silver

An off-kilter cluster of sweet and sour voices on the propulsive chorus of "Adapter," the first track on her promising, rough-hewn debut.

An off-kilter cluster of sweet and sour Ramona Silver voices on the propulsive chorus of "Adapter," the first track on her promising, rough-hewn debut.

A seemingly endless collection of infectiously edgy, smart-ass tunes.

Powerful without the riot grrrl trappings or banshee wailings...the more you listen, the more you like.

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Social Media

Upcoming Performances

Previous events

Sep15

Roslindale Porchfest (4th Annual!)

Roslindale Porchfest, 4th Annual! -- RS solo, 55 Cliffmont Street, Roslindale, MA

Ramona Silver plays solo and opens for the Hallas Cowboys band!

free and family friendly!

Aug16

solo / opening for Dan Russell

The Grog -- RS solo, 13 Middle Street, Newburyport, MA

Aug9

Ramona Silver EP Release -- Exercise the Spirit

Club Bohemia at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

8 pm Boors (Providence, RI) 9 pm oblio (Long Beach, CA) 10 pm Ramona Silver 11 pm Hallas Cowboys  

$8

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