Progressive Pop duo, Rule of Young, are an unlikely pairing of artists, a doctor and a accountant whom together are bringing their edgy pop to the masses. Since coming on the music scene, Rule of Young members Nico Conti and Catherine Calabrese have been gathering positive buzz from the streets of their hometown, Cleveland, Ohio to every music blog publishing outlet in the web sphere. Their latest single, “Lie Better” is a savoury soup of melancholy, ethereal harmonies and electric hybrid of live and synthetic instrumentation that can be fully appreciated with every repeated listen. We had the opportunity to chat with Rule of Young’s Catherine Calabrese about the story behind “Lie Better”.
The heart-rending track features a pulsating guitar spotlight stealing melody, beaming synths that illuminates Calabrese’s tender vocals full of longing and surrender. “Lie Better” is the one of their most experimental singles the talented duo have released. The track automatically transports their listeners to a moment in time when a love affair has met it’s tragic end, “I wanted to write a song that told a story; I wanted to create a world where I wasn’t singing directly about myself, but rather as if I was observing from afar.” Calabrese describes how driving at night inspired the song’s concept, “I was driving one night and was thinking about how sometimes love can make us ask the person we’re with to tell us what we want to hear because confronting the truth is too painful. We want to avoid being disillusioned even when we know staying in the daydream isn’t real. The words “lie better” popped in my head and summarized that concept for me. I wanted to tell the story of someone who had been betrayed; they’re smart enough to look past what they’re being told but are too in love to follow through. Instead, they resign themselves to accepting the lie if it’s told well enough.”
When the time came to record the track, the band brought in their frequent collaborator, Emmy winning music producer Jim Wirt with help of fellow music producer Javier Davis, best known by his stage name 1800-SOS to work their magic on the song. Calabrese recalls the memorable recording sessions, “Incredible! We had such a blast recording this; if we could, we’d spend every day in the studio! A few days before we went in, our producer Jim Wirt called us. He said he wanted to bring in a drum kit for our next session; we were ecstatic at this idea because we knew it was the start of truly honing our sound. Jim brought in producer Javier Davis (professionally known as 1800-SOS) to create the beats; he’s a genius on the drum kit! Working with both Jim and Javier was an incredible experience; Nico and I looked at each other after the songs were finished and knew we had finally found our true sound and were on to something great.”
“Lie Better” is a fearless personal achievement for Calabrese, it was a song solely written by her. “This track is incredibly special to me. This is the first song that we’ve recorded whose lyrics and melody were written only by me; I had a strong vision for it. Recording this song was an emotional and therapeutic experience for me as well; singing released the emotions from past experiences that begrudgingly lingered. I am so lucky and grateful that I was able to express what I was going through by doing the thing I loved to do the most. It was such a rewarding and exhilarating feeling to leave it all in the studio and put it all in the song.”
The song lyrics don’t hold back on shining a spotlight on moments in life most people choose to hide or avoid talking about, betrayal, denial, the unavoidable end of a relationship whether it’s a romantic or platonic one. Calabrese wanted to illustrate the universal feelings into a song that would speak to everyone, “We have all experienced being hurt by someone with whom we entrusted our feelings. The song delves into the aftermath of this type of betrayal and the ambivalence you can often feel when navigating through the maze of broken trust. Calabrese explores the accessible stages of grief in the song, “Some days you’re angry or have questions, other days it doesn’t seem as overwhelming, the next day you feel great, and the day after that you might feel angry all over again. Although this song tells the story from two individuals’ perspectives, their feelings represent a collective human experience that we can all relate to. While not everyone has experienced infidelity, we can all relate to grieving a loss and going through the stages that grief can carry.”
Releasing “Lie Better” kicked off a brand new start for the band, having experiencing a dramatic change helped their experimental juices to flourish into a grander sound, “I always hoped that this song would be recorded. When I finished writing it, I was really excited to build on its foundation and experiment in the studio. Before we went back to recording, Rule of Young had undergone some shifts in group members, so Nico and I were both really eager to move forward and evolve our sound into what we always envisioned. “Lie Better” is special because it’s the first song that we recorded and released after that shift was complete. Recording it rejuvenated and renewed our excitement and passion for music and what’s next.”
With every listen to this track, you hear the tangled sound textures and gooey notes that will stick in your mind providing an exhilarating journey. Calabrese describes how they hoped their emotions felt while making the song would be felt when listening to the track, ”We channeled a lot of emotions into the vocals; every lyric has raw feelings behind it and we want the listeners to feel that too. We spent so much time collaborating with our producers on every beat, harmony, and note to make the song as powerful and memorable as possible. We want people to have the chorus stuck in their heads and to feel like they can’t resist playing it on repeat!”
As we concluded our insightful chat, Calabrese expressed her excitement for what is coming next including new music and new live shows in the near future, “We are so excited to build upon the sonic direction we’ve taken. At the time of recording “Lie Better”, we also recorded two other songs that we can’t wait to release later this year. We hope to be back in the studio very soon as we’ve written some brand new songs since the summer and want get them recorded as soon as possible! We’ve also got a live cover video coming out in the near future along with lyric videos to support our upcoming singles. We’ll also be back on the Cleveland scene playing live shows!”