May 5, 2019
Retro Candy “Escape”
The vocal rock band, Retro Candy, releases their debut professional album this month. It was a year’s worth of labor and love, but they are proud to finally present the songs to the world. Brennan (aka Savage) and Jade were the primary writers for the songs on their new album Wild Blooms, while Oren the bassist and Chris the piano man worked on the arrangement and production of the entire album. The second song on the album ‘Escape’ was written by Brennan back in 2017, and this is his story for the song:
The Story Behind Escape:
“I wrote ‘Escape’ when I was coming out of a dark place. Like all the songs on the Wild Blooms album, I want it to ultimately express hope and optimism. My dark times involved a sort of distorted sense of reality which was, among other things, quite isolating. The real world was overwhelming so I created my own world and preferred to stay there. Some aspects of this fantasy world were welcoming and enlightening, but it was not the real world. When you prefer that over reality, you will get comfortable in your delusions and you will get stuck. Nothing in the real world seemed worth bringing me off of my cloud (‘Please don’t free me, I don’t wanna come down’). What at first feels like a vacation becomes a custody battle of which world you live in. I lost friends during this destructive period of time as I stubbornly resisted the care they would give me. Even though I needed the help and got it from those I love, I did not want it (‘I’m fine, I’m fine’).
Out of the Darkness
Eventually I got out and I escaped that dark place. There were a handful of breakthrough experiences which helped me come back to reality. One involved my parents, and the rest were with my friends and family (family includes my band mates) or just me being in nature. The song ‘Escape’ attempts to simulate that whole experience of being impossibly stuck and somehow getting out. The verses show someone stuck on their cloud who is going back and forth between reality and fantasy.
The instrumental section is the escape itself, and my attempt was to reflect the tremendous release of energy that comes from someone or something breaking through, pulling you back to reality. The ending repeats one of the verses, but the tone is much more vulnerable (‘Please look and see me, I just wanna come down’). My hope is that this song reaches people who are stuck in similar situations so they may feel less isolated and see the worth in coming back to a loving reality.”
The Arrangement of “Escape”
“Escape” is fairly complex with multilayered guitars, vocals and a variety of instruments including cello and violin. Retro Candy invited session musicians Autumn Brand and Kaitlin Grady from the band New Reveille to play on several songs for the album. The two of them combined with the bands’ instrumentation and moving vocals really brought the dreamy section to life as the song takes you into a sort of Willy Wonka boat nightmare. A defining moment in the song is when you are coming out of the nightmare section, and Autumn scrapes the violin into a jolted drop before a powerful guitar lick transitions you back into the main theme.
The bandmates in Retro Candy take vocal harmony very seriously as two of their members, Oren and Brennan, did a cappella at NC State with Grains of Time. Jade and Chris also participated in chorus in high school, so the four of them together like to create intricate harmonies that really come through in the different sections of Escape, as well as the rest of the album.
Wild Blooms album was engineered by Brett Scott at BNB Audio in Chapel Hill, who is a talented engineer and producer with a keen ear and innate musicality. Many people helped bring this project to life, and the band cannot express the depth of gratitude and love they have for their fans who supported them through the entire process. The final album will take you on a journey, and it starts with the great Escape. We hope it will lead you to something beautiful.
Watch the full performance from their Album Release Show at Imurj from May 4, 2019!