Electronica Does Emo

Ryan Hemsworth
Ryan Hemsworth

The Ryan Hemsworth show at WOW Hall has been canceled.

Canadian electronica producer Ryan Hemsworth describes his most recent single, “Snow in Newark,” as something he made to “get back to my first love, emo music.” This may come as a shocking change of pace to those accustomed to hearing Hemsworth either throw down thick, hawkish hip-hop remixes or candy-coated, J-poppy originals.

Having mastered the ways electronica can illicit visceral aggression and delight, Hemsworth is exploring how the genre might express sadness, too. Without sacrificing an ounce of catchiness, “Snow in Newark” wallows in pity and lost love, beginning in a kind of urgent quietude and unfolding into rhythm-conscious lyrics sung by collaborator Dawn Golden — “I just want to be your shadow/ Find me in the sun so bright/ Tie me to your wrist each night/ And I’ll follow you.”

Damn, Hemsworth, when did you get so many feelings?

But showing some vulnerability at this point will only make him better. After more than holding his own in the beat-smithing blogosphere and developing a laudably grind-worthy live set, Hemsworth is due for the next logical step: increased emotional (and artistic) depth. Let’s just hope that what already makes him unique — his natural, percussive infectiousness — is never a casualty of that growth.

Ryan Hemsworth brings his “Sucker for Punishment” tour with special guests LUCAS, Miles Airon and Loam Beats to Eugene 9 pm Wednesday, Dec. 3, at WOW Hall; $15 adv., $18 door, all-ages. — Isabel Zacharias 

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