Indiana-based solo act Former Ruins (Levi Dylan Sikes) has gained a local reputation for hear-a-pin-drop live performances, drawing comparisons to Julien Baker, The National, and Big Thief. He writes, in his telling, "post-cynical folk rock."
With arrangements punctured by atmospheric guitar work and a lyrical directness by way of an unvarnished baritone, Levi carves deep angles into the familiar singer-songwriter genre and blurs the lines between 80s post-punk and salt-of-the-earth balladry, inviting listeners into a world of doubt, desire, and wonder. Levi's debut single "Cars of Our Youth" released in July 2019 on his homespun label Slow Embrace Records, earning a feature with Mike Mineo of Obscure Sound.
Building momentum off of a 137% funded Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2019, Former Ruins is producing an 8-song debut titled "Large Startling," with mixing assistance from Jon Class (Josh Garrels, Strahan, Silicone Boone). The album will be shared first with backers in February 2020, with a wider release anticipated for March 2020.
As an East Coast transplant finding roots in the Midwest, Former Ruins has been kindly received by attentive listeners who are eager to see the next move from an artist who leaves little of his heart withheld. How else does any healing happen, but by withholding nothing?
"...murmuring vocals lend a captivating feel, reminiscent of Matt Berninger’s signature baritone. The accompanying guitar work exudes a hypnotic, highway-bound...meshing of garage-rock with Springsteen-friendly comparisons. A very convincing aesthetic." - Obscure Sound [link]
Career highlights: Opened for John Lodge of the Moody Blues at The Queen in Wilmington, DE (November 2017); featured local performer at David Bromberg's Big Noise Festival (June 2018); Fourth Tuesday Showcase featured songwriter at Square Cat Vinyl in Indianapolis (May 2019)
Keywords: Lyrical, atmospheric, folk rock, independent artist, guitar-driven, original songwriter