Free Music Friday! Ryan Power - "I Don't Want to Die"

Ryan Power was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. Today he makes stunningly outré pop music imbued with strange funk and damaged soul. This is how and why: When Power was a kid, he heard Joe Jackson and it made him feel funny. He began playing guitar at age 11, and would skip recess with his buddy to work on songs for their band called Quantum. He soon fell hard for Jimi Hendrix, and collected every coin he could find that predated the guitar legend's death, just in case he'd touched it, hoping for an energy transference.

MP3: "I Dont Want to Die" -
STREAM: "I Don't Care" -

Terrified of a life spent pumping gas in his hometown, he became a reluctant jazz student at the state university, where he would learn to appreciate the economical grooves of Bill Evans. Still, his earliest albums felt sort of like folk with elements of bossa nova, and even salsa, encroaching from the corners. And then, Arkansas. There, his brother, a Katrina refugee, was rebuilding his life and Power relocated to lend a hand. He left as a sensitive, clean-cut, guitar-wielding type, and returned to the northeast (now Burlington, Vermont) with long hair, a scraggly beard, ancient bellbottoms and a synth, some sort of shipwreck victim who'd washed up onto a sandy bank of existentialism and groove.