My Inspiration: Ronald Raygun – Uncanny Valley | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Local groove-machine Ronald Raygun are set to drop their latest single, Uncanny Valley on Saturday 30th April. The track with its soaring space synths, head bobbing rhythms and expansive, melodious vocals has notes of ELO and Tame Impala and is a rather engaging and euphoric listen.

Here, Ronald Raygun’s Sam Kennedy tells us what inspired the track…

I had actually written the main riff of the song ages ago, but It went on the backburner for a couple of years. I couldn’t seem to flesh it out beyond a funky instrumental or write a chorus for it. A couple of months ago though, I picked it back up, wrote the chorus, and re-structured it into a real-life song. 

The term ‘Uncanny Valley’ refers to the space between something seeming natural and artificial. It’s the liminal zone between the real and the non-real. I like the phrase because it describes a weird in-between zone where things arent quite right, and life be like that sometimes. With that in mind, I wrote the lyrics as a stream of consciousness and just picked out my favourite lines. The track has moments of lyrical melancholy but I think the music is fundamentally optimistic so I hope that shines through. 

I spent a lot of time nerding out trying to strike the sonic balance between sounding huge and grooving hard. That meant pushing the synths and saxophones to the limits of reasonable reverberation and getting the drums and bass as punchy and tight as I could. 

After the 2nd chorus, I was at an impasse as to where the song should go next. So I consulted a free website version of Brian Eno’s outrageously priced ‘Oblique Strategies’. The orders were to ‘make a sudden change’. So, the final minute of the song adds a new chord sequence and gets stripped back to a thick synth peppered with percussion a la Outcast/ Pond/ Headhunters era Herbie Hancock. 

I had loads of fun making the track and I think that comes through in the drumming where I couldn’t help but drop loads of daft fills in there! So, If people enjoy it 1/10th as much as I enjoyed making it I’ll be happy.

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