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DLC Week of 10/19: Anna Graceman & Ryan Corn and Welshly Arms

Anna Graceman & Ryan Corn “A Little Wild” and Welshly Arms “Love Is Not A Weapon” represent two of the most finely crafted and executed rock songs of 2023. Soulful, energetic, uplifting – pick your superlative! Both can be yours this Thursday in the Rock Band Music Store.

Noted singer/songwriter/producer Ryan Corn successfully paired up with Anna Graceman, American singer/songwriter who first gained widespread fame at a very young age thanks to some very high-profile television appearances and performances posted to YouTube, for the powerful 2023 single “A Little Wild.” The duo draw upon their considerable shared strengths to rewrite the formula for what makes a catchy, danceable hit, resulting in a compact 2:43 of ear-wormy perfection.

Starting with a fuzzy,  syncopated bass line, the song soon adds thumpy percussive accompaniment and Graceman’s own snarly, yet simultaneously angelic vocals at five seconds in. Tastefully placed moans of guitar evocative of yearning bird-calls punctuate certain moments until, at 27 seconds in, the beat truly arrives at full force for the first go-round of the chorus. Even then, though, (and throughout “A Little Wild”) the name of the game here is tastefully restrained instrumentation. This track is a case study in the “less is more” approach, with what *isn’t* done or played suggesting a tightly coiled reserve of unhinged emotion that lends the song a sense of danger and excitement. Hand-claps and enthusiastic background vocals add to the party vibe of the refrain, while the playing remains unwaveringly steady. Graceman’s primary band – made up of younger siblings Allie Graceman (guitar, vocals) and Landon Graceman (drums, percussion) – are as capable as their older sister and Allie and Anna make effective use of that much sought-after “blood harmony” that only close relatives seem capable of. Overall, Corn’s production chops are on full display, with “A Little Wild” being equal parts soul, dance, R&B, and rock. Dance, pump your fists, scream at the top of your lungs – any reaction (so long as it’s passionate) would be appropriate to a scorcher like this cut. Meanwhile, his own soulful, heartfelt performance helps elevate the proceedings to the next level.

The song’s lyrics tell the story of two people navigating complex relationship dynamics

and the Gracemans’ and Corn’s voices blend seamlessly. The bridge, beginning at 1:47, is a standout moment, with voices reaching new heights over a satisfyingly dirty and funky rhythm, making for a truly goosebump-inducing performance that is arguably the high point of a recording that is arguably nothing *but* high points. Following the break we get a victory-lap double serving of the truly danceable chorus (And this is from someone who actively avoids dancing, so that’s saying something…) before the whole thing ends on a final, unaccompanied “Wiiiiiillld” from Graceman.

If the best songwriting and recordings defy and ignore categorization, then “A Little Wild” is very good, indeed. This one would be just at home being played onstage at a sweaty dive-bar, spun by a DJ in front of a crowded dance-club, in the largest arena, or on a motion picture soundtrack. Lightning in a bottle doesn’t happen too often, so someone cue that thunder-clap, already. Well done, Graceman and Corn!

Starting with a reverb-heavy 1-2-3-4 stick-click count-off, Welshly Arms “Love Is Not A Weapon” from the trio’s third studio album, 2023’s Wasted Words & Bad Decisions, is immediately both grounded and striving for next-tier greatness and exposure. The Cleveland-based alternative rock/blues band – Sam Getz (vocals, guitar), Mikey Gould (drums), and Jimmy Weaver (bass), Bri and Jon Bryant (additional vox) – have been refining this approach of seamlessly incorporating their eclectic mix of influences and impulses since 2013 and, while they’ve had their share of successes (well-deserved!), it’s fair to say “Love Is Not A Weapon” is an unqualified home-run. Immense melodies and uplifting choruses make for a soulful pop-rock anthem you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

The band, itself, seems aware of having reached another level with this newest collection. Upon the LP’s release, Sam Getz shared, “These songs speak to who we all are in this exact moment of our lives. Musically, we wanted this record to bring us back to the raw rock-n-roll that we had built the band on when we were jamming in the basement together. But, of course, we’ve also matured and gelled as musicians after touring the world together, and I think that intersection is what made Wasted Words & Bad Decisions so fun and rewarding to create.”

Indeed, the group seems to be in “hive-mind mode” with a shared vision and determination to every note choice and arrangement decision made in “Love Is Not A Weapon.” Those aforementioned stick-clicks segue into palm-muted 16th-note guitar chugging beneath Getz’s impassioned melodic vocal line. Crystalline, arpeggiated six-string work joins the picture at 8 seconds in, along with taut drums and slithery bass, making for a snappy, attention-getting verse. Then, though, at the 27-second point, Gould leans heavily into the toms and suddenly there are two, three – four(!) voices singing in harmony (not counting the overdubs) for the first chorus. The near-choir-like orchestration is fleeting, however, when, only five seconds later, “Love Is Not A Weapon” is reduced to Getz plaintively singing alongside unaccompanied guitar strumming. Slowly, but surely, the rest of the band adds instrumentation and voicing to the track until, at :56, we’re back to that full, almost-gospel-in-impact delivery. One thing’s for sure: Welshly Arms will keep you guessing.

After delving into another iteration of the verse, chorus, and quiet breakdown, followed by choral bombast structure already established, at 2:27, the group goes into a passionate, emotive middle-8 that draws upon all of their combined (and substantial) strengths. At 2:55, Getz adds a complimentary lead guitar line that only serves to enhance the already arresting vocal melody. Then, a mere 13 seconds later, “Love Is Not A Weapon” fades out, with gently interwoven voices over a prettily mournful piano.

There’s lots going on here – and all of it worth more than a few repeat listens! 

Anna Graceman & Ryan Corn “A Little Wild” and Welshly Arms “Love Is Not A Weapon” are now available as DLC included in the Season 33 Pass! Pick up both to enjoy the full season of DLC. Each of these scorchers can now be yours for $1.99 each.

  • Anna Graceman & Ryan Corn – “A Little Wild”
  • Welshly Arms – “Love Is Not A Weapon”

VIDEO: Rock Band 4 DLC Week of 10/19: Anna Graceman & Ryan Corn “A Little Wild” and Welshly Arms “Love Is Not A Weapon”



*Please note that this week’s DLC tracks will be available for purchase on Thursday, October 19th.