Feature Article Category

  • Top 50 Albums of 2016

    Feature Article, List, MusicComments Off on Top 50 Albums of 2016

    On January 6, 2017 • By

    savages the band live


    Well here we are once again – another year passed as we are hurled into the unknown future. 2016 has been an absolute whirlwind for everyone involved, there’s no questioning that. But what’s great is, no matter what challenges we face, no matter how much hope is lost or how bleak certain parts of the future look, we can always depend on great art to be released. And many times, chaos in the world can breed our most beloved works.

    As I look back on 2016, I’ve come to realize that music is probably the art form I consume the most. I am usually working day and night on film projects so I don’t get to catch as many movies as I would like (this is something I want to change in 2017). When I get a few hours free before I go to bed, it’s hard to convince myself to spend it leisurely when I know there is so much work I have left to do. This is also the reason why I don’t get to read too many books, even though I LOVE reading (despite the fact that I’m a bit of a slow reader). But music has a portability that movies and books often don’t. I can take it anywhere, which allows me to soak in sounds no matter what I’m doing. (Yes, I know I could do audiobooks like this too but I’m not a huge audiobook fan. I like highlighting stuff and flipping back and forth)

    This is why I think music is such a bigger part of our lives than many people realize. It’s everywhere you go; it’s all over TV, movies, it’s in grocery stores, clothing shops, restaurants. And speaking of “everywhere you go”, 2016 may be the year where streaming reached its pivotal turning point. Streaming has exploded and I don’t think there’s any going back, for better or worse. The good news is that paid subscriptions have risen a ton within the last year. The bad news is, artists are still paid tiny fractions of what they should be earning. The other bad news is the amount of downloads has decreased considerably. The streaming paradigm says something about our cultural philosophies as a whole – we want access to everything, all the time, everywhere we go. Even if that means not actually owning the songs.

    On some levels, it’s hard to argue against that model strictly speaking from the point of view of the consumer. You pay a monthly fee and get access to millions of songs that you can play wherever you go, as much as you want. And the monthly fee is usually less than the cost of one single album. It’s cheap and convenient – which is what practically every consumer wants. I imagine streaming is only going to get bigger so I hope the royalty rates for artists continue to climb.

    But anywaysssss….enough of that, let’s get to business. As always, I want to make it clear that these are my PERSONAL FAVORITES and I’m not saying these are the undisputed, objectively best albums of 2016. These are MY top albums, plain and simple, that adhere to my musical tastes. The good news is, I have a pretty decent taste in music so no bullshit will be found here – that I can guarantee. And although I put them in a certain order, you must understand that every single one of these albums is fantastic. The number 50 album on this list is better than most of the music I heard last year so please, give every album on this list a chance.

    Here we go!

    50. Holy Wave – Freaks of Nurture
    49. Eureka California – Versus
    48. Seth Bogart – Seth Bogart
    47. Chance the rapper – Coloring Book
    46. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity
    45. Whitney – Light Upon the Lake
    44. Empire of the Sun – Two Vines
    43. Explosions In The Sky – The Wilderness
    42. Deakin – Sleep Cycle
    41. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
    40. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
    39. Night Moves – Pennied Days
    38. Porches – Pool
    37. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
    36. Young Thug – Jeffrey
    35. Maxwell – blackSUMMER’Snight
    34. Local Natives – Sunlit Youth
    33. ANOHNI – hopelessness
    32. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 3
    31. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
    30. Woods – City Sun Eater In The River of Light
    29. of Montreal – Innocence Reaches
    28. MMOTHS – Luneworks
    27. Frightened Rabbit – Painting Of A Panic Attack
    26. Crystal Castles – Amnesty (I)
    25. Julianna Barwick – Will
    24. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – Sunergy
    23. Vince Staples – Prima Donna
    22. White Lung – Paradise
    21. Frank Ocean – Blonde
    20. Angel Olsen – My Woman
    19. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
    18. Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
    17. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
    16. Peter, Bjorn and John – Breakin Point
    15. Kevin Morby – Singing Saw
    14. Holy Fuck – Congrats
    13. M83 – Junk
    12. Beyonce – Lemonade
    11. Paul Jebanasam – Continuum
    10. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
    9. Brandy Clark – Big Day in a Small Town
    8. JEFF the Brotherhood – Zone
    7. Bon Iver – 22, a Million
    6. Solange – A Seat at the Table
    5. The Avalanches – Wildflower
    4. Ra Ra Riot – Need Your Light
    3. Yeasayer – Amen & Goodbye
    2. David Bowie – Blackstar
    1. Savages – Adore Life

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  • Leo & Zulma’s Wedding – New Photography

    Feature Article, PhotographyComments Off on Leo & Zulma’s Wedding – New Photography

    On January 2, 2017 • By

    Hey everyone!

    Two of my great friends got married recently &  I took a few shots of them at their wedding. I wanted to share some of my favorite photos of them.

    It gave me a chance to do some experimenting with colors in Lightroom – which has become my new go-to photography editing program. I shot this on digital, which has presented new challenges to me since I’m so used to shooting on medium format film. Instead of trying to get my digital photography to look like my film photography, I’ve been looking at ways to make my digital work have a unique look all to its own. It certainly requires more work but it’s a lot of fun.

    I hope you guys enjoy – and congrats again to Leo & Zulma!

    Follow me on Twitter! @ryanestabrooks

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  • Listen to My Original Score for “Silas”

    Feature Article, Original MusicComments Off on Listen to My Original Score for “Silas”

    On June 20, 2016 • By

    A few weeks ago, a film called Silas came out online. The film was written/directed by Bralyn Stokes – and I happened to do the original score for it! Well, if you watched the movie and are interested in listening to the score on its own – here you go!

    Up above is the isolated original score for the film. Turn your speakers way up, turn off the lights, light some incense and just let the sounds wash over your soul. At least, that’s how I imagine everyone will listen to it. Enjoy! And as always, let me know what you think! Find me on Twitter (username = ryanestabrooks) or message me on Facebook!

    Follow me on Twitter! @ryanestabrooks

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  • “Stories of Enchantment” – NEW PROMO FILM!

    Feature Article, Original Film, Original MusicComments Off on “Stories of Enchantment” – NEW PROMO FILM!

    On June 17, 2016 • By


    Hey everyone! I’m excited to share this new promo film I directed for a book called Stories of Enchantment. The book features sonnets inspired from various fairy tales, written by Jessa R. Sexton. In this film, Jessa stars and narrates one of her sonnets as we bring it to life on the screen.

    This film was a unique challenge because I haven’t shot a sort of mysterious piece like this before. I have also been experimenting A LOT more with my color, which led to giving this piece a bit of an otherworldly palette composed of blues, greens, and orangish-reds. I would also like to mention that I did the music for this film as well!

    I’m really proud of how this came out and I believe it truly captures more of my directorial style. Jessa essentially gave me free reign over how to interpret her sonnet and I’m really happy it came out well. So watch it above and enjoy!

    Follow me on Twitter! @ryanestabrooks

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  • Watch ‘Silas’ for free right now!

    Feature Article, Original MusicComments Off on Watch ‘Silas’ for free right now!

    On June 2, 2016 • By

    Hey guys! It’s finally here!

    Silas – the film I’ve been talking about for a super long time – is available for FREE online! Yes, a free movie! You can’t possibly say no to that.

    Again, for those that are unaware, I did the original score for this film. I am really proud of it and really proud of all the work that went into this film. I hope you enjoy the film and I REALLY hope you love the music.

    So click the video player up above. If you have any problems, here is the direct link:

    Follow me on Twitter! @ryanestabrooks

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