By Caroline Meister
This week, I’d thought I would try out something new in which I discuss a musician or a band that I feel doesn’t get enough recognition.
Speak Low If You Speak Love is an outfit created by Ryan Scott Graham. If his name sounds familiar to you, it’s because Speak Low is his side project. He plays bass and sings backing vocals for the very popular pop-punk band State Champs, who you can find touring along the likes of All Time Low, Neck Deep, and Knuckle Puck, to name a few. Speak Low If You Speak Love, which only consists of Ryan, is different from other side projects that musicians typically put together to fill their spare time when they’re not touring.
There is no aspect of State Champs involved in Speak Low; the two are very obviously different, which must be incredibly difficult considering Graham is spending more than 50% of his time with them. Speak Low could easily just sound like an acoustic version of State Champs, but Ryan prides himself on branching away from the band, without cutting his ties from it completely.
His lyrics are beautifully written and honest; there are lines like “I have my knots in my hair and knots in my stomach, both because of you, but for very different reasons” and “I got scared you were too much, and I wasn’t enough.” Most of his songs are reminiscent of Secondhand Serenade, a similar creation headed by John Vesely, who reached worldwide fame with his single “Fall For You.” If you are a fan of Secondhand Serenade, Front Porch Step, or Ed Sheeran, you should definitely give Speak Low a listen.
In his off-time, Ryan even tours the side project in small music clubs around the United States, although normally concentrated in the Midwest (he resides near Detroit). Speak Low has three releases and is currently not signed with anyone, although their most recent release, Everything But What You Need, was re-released under Pure Noise Records, State Champ’s label. You can find that album on Spotify, but the other albums can be found on bandcamp.com. Make sure to give Speak Low a listen; I think you’ll find that you will want to speak very loudly about Ryan afterwards.