By Jo Smith.
For their debut single, ‘Rise Up’ by La Club Royale is an accomplishment, one that they should be proud of. It showcases their unique blend of sound which should be welcomed and highly anticipated by the music scene in Scotland. The song shows originality and talent, giving the duo a promising start to their career.
La Club Royale consists of Connor Adam and Lyle Kennedy. Emerging from Ayrshire in the West of Scotland, they formed their band towards the end of 2020 and are perhaps one of the only good things to come of that woeful year. Starting as they mean to go on, the pair have chosen ‘Rise Up’ to make a first impression.
The song itself is a perfect marriage of genres, combining iconic features of ‘80s music with those of the modern indie scene. The beginning of a bassline guides listeners from a smooth, atmospheric introduction into a synth riff that would be well suited in the playlist of any John Hughes film. The decade is kept alive as the synths fade into the background during verses and return with full force after each chorus via punchy vocals that have to be compared to the iconic Simple Minds opening, which would have almost certainly triggered the classic shoulder-shuffle on many an ‘80s dancefloor.
Lyle’s unique voice reinforces the genre hybridity of the song whilst simultaneously propelling it around 40 years into the future, bringing to mind a combination of Marc Almond and Alex Turner. An agile voice modernises the song and shows the band’s enthusiasm for indie music; he harbours the vocal quality of Almond and the attitude of Turner, which creates a distinctive, intriguing sound.
A simple but nonetheless effective composition shows influence from bands such as New Order and The Naked and Famous. It creates an earworm which will have listeners nodding along to the beat and humming the chorus for quite some time after hearing the song. The stylistic opening creates an otherworldly atmosphere, with the smooth electronic phasing sounds conjuring a dream-like ambience that would send an infectious shiver down the spines of a room full of people. Once this is combined with the lyrics and main melody, the song becomes emotionally provoking; it is inspirational, fun and carries with it that youthful recklessness which always accompanies falling in love.
The song creates a real sense of yearning with the opening lines, “I want nothing more than to see you”, capturing a transcendent, desperate moment which the singer wishes would “last forever”, even at the expense of his “mind, body and soul”. The chorus generates the image of a powerful, influential figure who is reinforced in the second verse which features lyrics about ‘angel wings’ and things that cannot be explained. The story of this song allows its listeners to indulge in the exact sense of escape that is suggested by the lyrics, and cleverly guides their mind and ears to a place of solace and hope: something that is much needed in today’s climate.
Having already gathered attention from industry professionals and being featured on BBC Introducing, which has previously brought fame to major artists such as Ed Sheeran and Catfish and the Bottlemen, the track seems to indicate a bright future for La Club Royale. They are already working on new material and collaborations with other artists; if these retain the band’s individual and compelling sound, the duo shouldn’t face much of a challenge in making a name for themselves.
‘Rise Up’ will be released on Friday 5th March via all online digital platforms. You can pre save the single here.
Photos – @michealma98