There’s no “Smoke and Mirrors” when it comes to considering Eddy Lee Ryder and her growing clan of fans and supporters. This is one hard-working musician, relentless in the storytelling approach to her craft, pumping out single after single, always staying creative, and constantly seeking that next musical challenge.

Really, Ryder has been quite consistent for the last few years, ever since she began releasing music under the Eddy Lee Ryder moniker after the change from Liz Brennan. There were several singles released in 2019, then the Expected To Fly EP in 2020, and then a succession of song releases, with the latest being “Smoke and Mirrors” last month.

The song is heavily featured in the new horror film Terrifier 2, which was also released last month to, of course, coincide with Halloween (the song and film came out the same day, on October 6th). “Smoke and Mirrors” is a dark, feminist anthem dressed up in some casual, easygoing humour. It was written about Ryder’s friends who began to lose themselves and heavily doubt themselves after marrying men who weren’t good to them. There’s an inspirational side to the song, as it encourages the listener to trust and stick up for themselves.

For our latest Women of Rock feature, Eddy Lee Ryder was so kind to offer us a list of women who have genuinely inspired her to become the artist she is today.

She comments, noting:

“I was thinking long and hard about the women who I admire for this article. Because I think even our inspirations are ordinary, everyday people, even if they are doing extraordinary things. So I admire the people I know better. I like my women how I like my food: local!”

1. Caroline Polacheck

“An avant-garde pop artist that is completely her own; reaching for highbrow art, but pulls it off in an everyday way. She is a local New York singer like myself, so I appreciate some of the similar experiences I have heard her talk about. In the early 2010s, there was a culture of being modest in the music world that she spoke about that was ingrained into every singer. Today’s artists don’t have the same expectation of modesty; they can come right in and talk about how great they are so they have more of a running start to their careers. She is also determined to prove the music industry wrong that a woman’s career is not finished in their 30s.”

2. Katie Toupin

“A wonderful singer/songwriter with upbeat, catchy, positive songs, and a former member of Houndmouth. She has started her own music community called CampKT, which has really given people who are trying to find a place in the music world a sense of community and positivity where everyone roots for each other’s success.”

3. Lindi Ortega

“One of my favourite foot-stomping country gal singer-songwriters. She is one of my favourites, and I really relate to her songwriting, probably because we write so similarly! She has ‘Murder of Crows,’ I have ‘Vultures.’ She has ‘Fall Down or Fly,’ I have ‘Expected to Fly,’ and the list goes on.

“We also have the same checkered red and white sunglasses, red country boots, and an orange cat; I think hers is named Pumpkin too! I swear I’m not a stalker; this is just easy to see on social media! So I admire… our similarity. Also, since following her on social media, she shows it’s ok to take a break from music when you feel burned out and be creative in other ways… If it’s part of you, that tug is always there to come back.”

4. Madonna

“I don’t know. While everyone is giving this lady a hard time for acting out on TikTok, she might be paving the way for how I want to act in my 60s. Good on her!”

5. Danielle Rappaport, PhD

“For good measure, I have to add a climate rock star: a local lady I admire taking on important climate issues. I am going to add my dear friend Danielle Rappaport, PhD, former NASA fellow. She is now the Co-Founder, Chief Scientist & Innovation Officer at the Amazon Investor Coalition. I get to see firsthand what a badass she is because I also do their social media.

“She has taken all of her superpowers to create a network of individuals aiming to restructure the rule of law and how business in the Amazon Rainforest is conducted and supported on a large scale. It is quite amazing what she is pulling off!”

Artwork for the single “Smoke and Mirrors” by Eddy Lee Ryder

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