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After 17 years as a drummer, Akron native Daniel Rylander was inspired to pick up the guitar, piano and ukulele after a tragic event changed the trajectory of his life in 2012. His older brother David was killed in combat in Afghanistan. Rylander co-wrote a song to perform at his late sibling’s funeral.  Rylander’s family traveled to Hawaii shortly after his brother’s funeral, and it was there that Rylander bought his first ukulele and learned the instrument in a two-week period. He had previously written songs for his high school band, Trademark Mistake, and begun to mature as a songwriter. In 2013, he had enough material to release his first full-length album, Strawberry Skyline. Rylander, now 26, returns this year with a new collection of songs initially inspired by the changing seasons, shifting weather patterns and variations in daylight. The five-track release, How The Seasons Change Us, took two years to write and record. Rylander explains that each song was written at a different point in that span of time, with some reworked prior to the recording of the album to polish the final result. “Writing the songs became like therapeutic for me because I was dealing with a lot of personal things,” Rylander says. “One thing I learned from my brother’s death is nobody is promised tomorrow. The title comes from how the seasons changed me.” The EP’s beginning track, “The Alibi of Springtime,” sets the tone for the five-song collection. The piano-driven number was written four or five years ago but was reworked in 2017 to reflect Rylander’s changing perspective. The track is reminiscent of Ben Folds, who the songwriter cites as a big influence on his writing and performance styles. “The Alibi of Springtime” will lead into an as-of-yet unreleased song on a full-length album Rylander hopes to debut in 2020. The current EP, which also contains the tracks “Right Now,” “Move,” “Understanding” and “White Elephant,” was released in August 2018 as a way to give audiences a taste of the larger project Rylander has in the works. “The industry has changed so much, and how we listen to music has changed,” Rylander says. “The single is the new EP, and the EP is the new full-length album. I’m using this EP as the ‘breadcrumbs’ that lead the listener to the upcoming full-length, inviting them to come along with me.” “White Elephant” was written in one day, Rylander explains, and was initially released as a single in 2016. It first emerged as a joke song inspired by an ugly candy dish Rylander received at a white elephant party. He explains he wrote the song in 24 hours, and through the writing process it began to develop more meaning and gradually evolved into a more heartfelt tune. “Move” came together in a little more than week, whereas other songs he’s written have been in the works over the course eight or nine years. “I like to connect ideas,” Rylander says. “I’ll write a melody, let it be for a couple days, or write a theme and record it on my iPhone and let it sit, then return to it.” Rylander recorded How The Seasons Change Us at Creekside Audio in Norton and worked closely with producer Wes McCraw, who the musician says he has a close rapport with. McCraw is able to understand what Rylander is trying to communicate through his songs, and the result is a collaborative effort — something Rylander says he hopes to do more of with local musicians in the future. His upcoming full-length record will involve talent sourced from the community. “Northeast Ohio is probably one of the best spots for music right now. There’s so much to choose from, style-wise,” Rylander says. “There’s really no wrong way to do it — music — these days. You have more independence and can be more personal. You can be the artist you want to be.”” - Brittany Nader

The Devil Strip

Daniel Rylander has made a career for himself by fighting through adversity and turmoil. The singer/songwriter lost his brother to battle in Afghanistan in 2012 and has been inspired to find the [strength to] keep pushing [forward], and make his brother proud. His new single "Understanding" was released in January and is an uplifting tune about 'not letting our mistakes define who we are as people'. The song was revamped from the version that lives on The Memoirs of a Poolside Romance EP released in 2015. Daniel and his band (The Best Dressed) are looking to make themselves more marketable in 2017. ” - Floco Torres

The Devil Strip

 ' “Rylander touches on a wide variety of genres from indie rock to country and blues. It’s hard not to find at least one song that you like. Plus his voice is amazing. It’s fresh, young, and a bit soulful.” – Bronlynn Thurman, Tea Time with the Mad Artist  “It was on May 2, 2012 that Daniel received news that his older brother, 2nd Lt. David E. Rylander, had been killed in action in Afghanistan. He had been writing and playing music for a long time before this; having been a drummer for eighteen years, teaching himself piano and guitar for the past eight, and more recently the ukulele, music has always been a big part of his life. However, the endeavor to pursue his musical passions more seriously really began when he co-wrote a song with his Uncle, Tom Siebert, in order to remember and honor his older brother’s sacrifice.” – Daniel Rylander Facebook Page Leave a comment letting us know what you think – and who you’d like to see featured on #MusicMonday! '   ” - Staff Report

The Akronist

“ Saturday, October 17th, I headed over to Musica for Daniel Rylander’s sophomore album release, The Memoirs of a Poolside Romance. Now, I hadn’t heard him play in quite some time, so this was my first taste of any of his new music. He played a mixture of songs from both albums throughout the night. This new, seven-track album has quite a few songs that use the ukulele. It’s a story of heartbreak and love. I think my favorite track would have to be “Hurts Like Hell.” “” - Bronlynn Thurman

Tea Time with the Mad Artist

A drummer for seventeen years, local singer-songwriter Daniel Rylander then taught himself to play piano and guitar. He can also handle a ukulele. Back in 2012, Rylander wrote "A Friend & Brother (Be Thou at Peace)" for his brother’s funeral. He’s been writing songs ever since. Last year, he issued his full-length debut, Strawberry Skyline, and tonight he celebrates the release of his latest endeavor, The Memoirs of a Poolside Romance. Songs such as the somber “For a Moment You Were Mine” have an emo feel to them — think Death Cab for Cutie. Rylander’s got a great voice, something that comes across well in pretty indie pop tunes such as “Hurts Like Hell” and “Lullaby for the Sunshine.” (Niesel) ” - Jeff Niesel

Scene Magazine