Realma Releases New Single 'Down The Railway Spine'

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Realma is an intimate musical alter-ego of an independent Serbian-Chinese polymodal artist, composer, and songwriter. Accumulating press coverage across Rolling Stones India, Calvert Journal, Music Crowns, Zile si Nopti, Vreme, B92, Pink TV, and numerous other media outlets across the world, Realma has presented herself as an exciting creative talent with a lot of promise for the future.

"Eclectic, distinct, and multidisciplinary" have been used to define Realma’s recent performances, and she placed in the top three of the MArte Live European competition quarterfinals. Numerous international film festivals, such as Lift-Off Sessions, Flipbook Film Festival, Animest, and many more, have included her animated music videos.

Realma uses songwriting as a transformational tool of escape and reverie, confronting the everyday in all its light and dark hues. With otherworldly sonorities and storylines, her songs display varying themes through the eclectic influence of different musical genres. With a characteristic combination of postmodern and atavistic sound, her music is both melancholic and empowering, cinematic and lifelike, all blended with the constant witchy quality. The project is the result of an extended audiovisual collaboration with a global network of young and independent, award-winning artists.

Realma returns with her latest offering ‘Down the Railway Spine’, accompanied by a gripping animated music video. The production fringes on the distinct experimental edge between a cinematic pop sound and game-style soundtrack music. Pulsating and action-packed, the fierce orchestration is delivered in combination with some unique vocal and instrumental effects mixed into synth embellishments.

‘Down the Railway Spine’ was created while the artist had been struggling with PTSD from a distressing, personal experience. The title of the song stems from the nineteenth-century term 'railway spine', when doctors encountered unexplainable symptoms experienced by passengers involved in railroad accidents, unaware it was an early form of PTSD. In this vein, the song represents Realma's ongoing journey confronting a giant roller coaster of mental health symptoms, often opposing and clashing - from depression to anxiety and emotional numbness to irritable panic attacks. The conflict is transformed both lyrically and musically into an intense track, which at points recalls the feeling of a filmic boss battle.

Taken a step further, the 3D animated music video, created in collaboration with the award-winning animator, Mihajlo Dragaš, tells the story of an interstellar racer on a mission to save his younger sibling. Reminiscent of futuristic, neon-clad visuals seen in films like Tron and Blade Runner, the animation propels the audience into an odyssey across three contrasting planets with a cataclysmic monster waiting in each. "Since the previous collaborations with Realma leaned more towards fantasy and mysticism, working on Down the Railway Spine felt like a novelty. I am a huge fan of Tron and Blade Runner, so with this animation, I wanted to pay homage to them, as their influence significantly shaped the contemporary visual identity of the Sci-Fi art form. From the technical perspective, the video is also the most demanding so far with three expansive worlds, various effects, and large monsters to visually assist the epic undertones of Realma's song. With all this, the interstellar epic was born to sweep the viewer through the main character's emotional journey and motivation in one breath."

On the track, REALMA says, “Down the Railway Spine is a song that delves deep into my innermost dystopian moments dealing with PTSD. Both the lyrics and the music describe those dark times when I'd been fighting a whirlpool of emotions in episodes of mental deterioration. Yet, there is also a heroic tone to the music, something undefeated, where I address those pieces of us that remain courageous and continue to defy even the eyes of the worst downward spirals. While there is some affinity towards gaming styles like epic tracks from League of Legends, this single is much more experimental with a distinctly experimental edge and highly irregular 7/8 rhythms pulsating throughout. I'm also thrilled to be collaborating again with the award-winning animator, Mihajlo Dragas, whose animated 3D music video represents a unique visual interpretation of the song with poignant characters and powerful storytelling.”

Realma is essentially a neo-symbolist, as evidenced by her ingenious finding of odd intersections that straddle the traditional and the experimental, as well as the mystical and the everyday. Every song or composition by the artist presents a new cross-genre blend and together with its accompanying visuals, offers a new journey within her audiovisual world. On that note, Realmaverse is a multi-genre audiovisual realm that is based on her art songs and features compelling characters with captivating tales. With ambitions to expand these storyworlds into comic books, tabletop role-playing games and video games, Realma and her team are now exploring the exciting possibilities of turning this musical universe into a successful brand and franchise.

February 23, 2024 9:58am ET by Let's Go Music News  

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