Proud Gamilaraay artist Loren Ryan has released a stunning acoustic single packed full of sweet harmonies and relatable lyrics detailing the experience of heartbreak.

Through her old school R&B hooks and dreamy melodies, Ryan’s Smoke Signal explores the many stages of grief and tells a tale of how healing isn’t linear.

“It’s been quite a journey for me over the last three years or so. Just moving out of my situation into a worse off situation. But then also into a better situation and just trying to build from nothing all over again,” Ryan told NIT.

“In some situations, you sort of just put your emotions to the side. And this song just talks about just not wanting to feel anything in that moment. Just being tired of having to deal with it all.”

The catchy tune also explores forming bad habits to dodge unwelcome emotions as well as falling off the wagon momentarily.

Ryan explained the name Smoke Signal comes from lyrics towards the end of the song and is a reference to cutting ties with someone temporarily.

“Smoke signal is just a thing blackfellas say,” she laughed.

“I don’t want to be bothered, don’t ring me up, don’t message me on Facebook, don’t send me a smoke signal, I’m out!”

The artwork for the single is by Balanggarra/Yolngu woman from Wyndham, WA, Molly Hunt. Photo supplied.

Ryan’s new track was written during the pandemic. She said it was a period where she felt she finally had the space to focus on writing original pieces which helped her music evolve into a more authentic sound.

“[The pandemic] helped me to step away from the cycle of cover gigs that I was doing just to earn money,” she said.

“Doing cover gigs … takes a lot of your time and pushes your original stuff to the backseat. So, the pandemic on top of this space I’d given myself … just really opened up my creative flow.”

“I started out writing things that I thought would be commercial … or were the topic at that time, and it just didn’t work. Honesty is more relatable.”

Based in the northwest New South Wales town of Tamworth, Ryan became inspired by her background to pursue music.

“My background has given me the drive to be successful to prove people wrong about a stereotype that they may have placed on us and to show young girls in the country that they can make music and put it up on Apple Music and Spotify,” Ryan said.

“My background inspires me, because I just draw on the resilience of generations before me and I take advantage of the opportunities that I now have, that my mother didn’t have.”

To catch Ryan’s new track Smoke Signal, head to Spotify or Apple Music.

By Grace Crivellaro