State Royale combine classic RnB with a fresh beat and a positive sentiment on this latest single Rays. Musically there’s an element of nostalgia to the style and sound – the vocals, the synths and samples featured in the backdrop, give off a vibe reminiscent of nineties pop. Mixed in with this though are more than a few flickers of modern production that keep it moving forwards.
Lyrically the song deals with overcoming negativity, it’s a song of self empowerment – the effect is subtle, but the more you listen, the more it sinks in. The vocal performances move from softly emotional to bold and powerful throughout the three minute journey. The underlying passion and intention is well represented by this style of delivery. At first there’s simply colour, a certain smoothness and a generally hopeful string of good vibes. Later on, the song’s depth and its ideas speak louder and louder – both lyrically and in the manner in which they’re performed. All of this offers a progressive set-up that again helps keep the song firmly planted as effective within today’s music world.
The production on this track is actually really interesting, you notice it more with each new play. The opening bars of music have a slightly haunting, descending nature – the chords and the fractions of vocals that are scattered throughout the introduction create a subtle intensity. As things evolve, the vocals calm it all down – the two voices intertwine and collaborate in bringing through this passion and soul that makes up the song’s core. The descending, distant vocal part makes for a key trait of the whole track – it’s immediately recognisable, and there’s a distinct contrast between the spacious first half of the verses and the moment the music and this hook drop in for impact.
State Royale are walking their own creative pathway, taking hints of influence from various places but essentially sticking to their guns and the intended message and vibe they wish to portray. Rays is a smooth and memorable song, interesting and unpredictable in some ways, but loaded with an all-important level of identity that reminds you who you’re listening to.
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