Cycle: CD
  • Cycle: CD
  • Cycle: CD
  • Cycle: CD

Cycle: CD

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$10.00

Michael's fourth studio album, Cycle, releases May 13th on Grimalkin Records. The album is partially inspired by their first album Lighthouse passing its ten year anniversary, which was originally released in 2011.

After years of working with several producers to create their last full-length album Temptation, Rider decided to take the creative

Michael's fourth studio album, Cycle, releases May 13th on Grimalkin Records. The album is partially inspired by their first album Lighthouse passing its ten year anniversary, which was originally released in 2011.

After years of working with several producers to create their last full-length album Temptation, Rider decided to take the creative process in a different direction, opting to work in- depth with three collaborators: Brooklyn-based pop artist M the Myth, Voyager Sound Studio’s Nathan Feler, and multi-instrumentalist Richard L. Entrup. Although the majority of the album was made over Zoom, Rider described the process as being “intuitive, seamless, and fun” and calls the record one that made itself.

The album revisits of themes discussed in their previous works, namely their pursuit of healthy relationships, both romantically and with themself. Rider reflects on why they find themself stuck in a cycle of toxicity where they fall into the same kind of destructive love time and time again. The lyrics also delve into the duality present in the different phases of life one encounters and how one must embrace its dialect in order to find balance both internally and externally. “Looking at both sides of the coin gives me the insight to challenge myself and hopefully make a positive personal change.” The track list is a response to itself, with the topics in the first half of the album being reversed in the back half.

The opener Tower is about feeling disconnected from others, while the closer Battle of Heart, is about the discomfort that comes when finally faced with intimacy and vulnerability. This back and forth continues through discussion of the desires and fears that come with love and accepting them. The introspective nature of the project mirrors both Rider’s personal growth and artistic maturity over the past decade, responding to the anger and confusion of their debut work.

Michael Rider (they/them) was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Rider migrated to New York City on a visual art scholarship in 2013. They played open mics at the Sidewalk Cafe, the birthplace of anti-folk, amongst contemporaries such as Brett Gleason, Siv Disa, and Prince Johnny. Inspired by the work of Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, Rider sings of the anxieties of life while mixing the traditional piano of their past with innovative electronic production, creating an ethereal pop experience.

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Temptation: CD
  • Temptation: CD
  • Temptation: CD
  • Temptation: CD

Temptation: CD

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$10.00

Michael's third studio album, Temptation, which released on September 4, 2020. The album from non-binary, dream pop singer-songwriter Michael Rider, is about loving someone that isn’t good for you. On the heels of completing 2016’s “Double Edged” with collaborator Dan Spencer, Rider went straight to work producing their new project, opting for a

Michael's third studio album, Temptation, which released on September 4, 2020. The album from non-binary, dream pop singer-songwriter Michael Rider, is about loving someone that isn’t good for you. On the heels of completing 2016’s “Double Edged” with collaborator Dan Spencer, Rider went straight to work producing their new project, opting for a team to further develop their sound. This extended the duration of the project significantly, ultimately taking four years to complete.

In December 2016, Rider began work with Mike Tierney, a Grammy-nominated producer, but left three years into the project due to artistic differences and the duration of the project itself, and LA-based producer David Mason took the reigns. The stop-go nature of the project was due to the financial difficulties of being an artist in a fast-paced environment in which the arts aren’t held to the same esteem as other occupations, along with creative discrepancies along the way. The final push to finish the album came in October 2018, when Rider began working with Brooklyn pop artist M the Myth and engineer and producer Nathan Feler.

Rider’s creative journey is reflected in the album itself. Similar to the work of Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell, and Imogen Heap, they powerfully illustrate their struggle with hypnotic, minor chords and abstractions. Their rhythm veers from aggressive and moody into a flamboyant, dance floor fantasy. “Temptation” exists to capture and develop mood and disregards traditional structure. “Words have never been my strong suit, but as an artist, I capture emotion with rhythm, sound, and texture,” Rider muses.

The album centers around falling for someone for all the wrong reasons, feeling like a secret in unrequited relationships, and ultimately searching for a fulfilling and healthy love. Rider cited severe emotional pain and turmoil throughout their years as inspiration for the project, struggling to find love while tackling the complexities of gender, sexuality, and artistry in a largely unaccepting society. Although finances served as a detriment and compromising factor throughout production, it was important for them to express their journey and with the support of their team and loved ones, was able to persevere and create a well-rounded and sonically challenging dream pop experience.

Michael Rider was born in Richmond, Virginia and migrated to New York City on a scholarship to the School of Visual Arts. They started performing at the Sidewalk Cafe, revered by the likes of Regina Spektor, The Moody Peaches, and Kimya Dawson. A visual artist as well as a singer-songwriter, they attribute their artistic development to the city, commenting that “[It] taught me that my artistic abilities come with boundaries. Even though living as an artist comes with its challenges, I cannot compromise my well-being. We live in a world where we don’t pay for music, but as an artist I can still thrive by confronting the truth and understanding temptation is an illusion. The key is to love, respect, and value oneself.”

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Double Edged: CD
  • Double Edged: CD
  • Double Edged: CD

Double Edged: CD

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$12.00

Double Edged, the second album from Michael Rider, released November 11, 2016.

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