New York’s Ransom Pier is built around the singularly evocative voice of lead vocalist Hayley Harrington and a rich catalog of songs drawn from the great American tradition of Bob Dylan, John Prine, and the Grateful Dead. Their “absurdly good” debut EP, If They Can’t Take a Joke, was released in 2015; and the ensuing years have firmly established the band as a rising star in Americana music.
For Fans Of
Hurray for the Riff Raff
"Hardy, pulsating folk songs rooted in raw emotion and the circadian rhythms of still life in the big city."
Rhythm & Boots
"Hayley Harrington’s vocals have that [perfect] jazzy edge."
Folk Radio UK
"[A thumbed nose at] the formulaic boundaries of typical songcraft."
Mother Church Pew
If It's Too Loud
“Telling stories that are relatable and don’t try too hard is important to me,” says Ransom Pier’s Hayley Harrington as she sits at the table of her childhood home on the North Shore of Long Island. “Most songs start from a single lyric or concept and work their way outwards from there.” The way Hayley tells it, her obsession with lyrics and storytelling was born in middle school as she immersed herself in the work of Bob Dylan, the Band, CSNY, and the Grateful Dead. She honed her craft by composing new verses to her favorite songs before, eventually, building a collection of her own original material and searching for a band.
Formed in 2015, Ransom Pier has maintained an emphasis on intimacy and simplicity over the course of their young career. “Hayley played Love’s a Bitch at the jam session where we first met, and I remember being very struck by the bare honesty of her playing,” says bassist William Carrigan. “To this day, if we don’t love the way an idea sounds with just her or just the two of us, that idea isn’t ready to be a song just yet.” The resulting output has included extensive touring in the eastern United States behind two EPs - If They Can’t Take a Joke (2015) and Feels Like Home to Me (2019) - a studio album - Beauty & Demise (2017) - and a live album - New York, NY 12/15/18 (2019). Love’s a Bitch, Turn Your Head, Just Waiting, and the rest of the band’s catalog offer listeners music that feels familiar on first listen and has won glowing comparisons to Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, and Norah Jones.
Looking ahead, the now Brooklyn-based Americana duo aim to release two more EPs in 2019 and continue to build a regional and national following. “Our band does a great job of creating space and listening to one another,” says Hayley. “We’ve started approaching our studio sessions like live performances; so with minor exceptions, everything you hear on a Ransom Pier record was tracked live in a single take. That collective energy is everything.”
Hayley and William are generally joined by Evan Harris (Six Time Users, Robbing Johnny) on guitar and Max Maples (NOARU, Blak Emoji) on drums. To date, they have performed alongside the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, the Other Favorites, Maelyn Jarmon, Copilot, Tom Walker, Mike & the Moonpies, Hannah Wicklund & the Stepping Stones, and Sarah Lee Guthrie. “Realistically, we’re just hitting our stride,” says William. “Each of us knows where we need to sit musically in order for the words and stories to shine through.” As Hayley’s voice soars over larger and increasingly delighted audiences, Ransom Pier’s future seems bright indeed.