TST Exclusive: Lonely Child – “I Can See Forever”

Lonely Child is the solo project of Austin, TX-based songwriter/producer Bryan Ray and today we’re excited to premier his latest song,”I Can See Forever,” exclusively on The Silver Tongue.

In December 2011, Lonely Child was born, so to speak, and what began simply as a home studio experiment blossomed into a full-blown musical project, complete with album artwork created by Ray’s girlfriend. A few months later, video collaborator Timmer O’Phelan created an animated video for the eponymous first single “Lonely Child,” landing a finalist spot in the music video category at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film FestivalWhile this would be the one and only video collaboration for Lonely Child (thus far), it kick-started the project and Ray began to release inventive new singles every few months.

While employing synth-based, digital sounds to craft catchy pop songs is nothing new these days (in fact it’s all the rage), Ray separates himself from the masses by being an adept musician (you know, someone who plays multiple instruments well and even reads music) as well as having the expertise of a studio producer. The result is a project that strikes a chord with two kinds of people: those who appreciate the technical intricacies of a saxophone solo and those who just want an electro-banger with a good soulful beat. And thankfully, those are not mutually exclusive. Ray’s songs are admittedly influenced by, well, everything: electronic music, acid jazz, soul, rock, singer-songwriter and the Donkey Kong soundtrack. Throw in heart-on-sleeve lyrics about love and you’ve got the gist.

Ray describes his latest release, “I Can See Forever,” as follows: “It’s about the intangible nature of love and connection [and] how we should not let tangible ‘realities’ get in the way of  deeper spiritual connection to one another.” Preach on brother.

Want to check out more Lonely Child? 

We highly recommend “A Different Scene”




TST Interview with Bryan Ray AKA Lonely Child

TST: What is Lonely Child as you understand it?

LC: It really started as nothing more than a way to experiment with synths and drum machines and weird sounds I hadn’t really worked with before. I honestly set out to make some Flying Lotus type shit. And of course it sounds nothing like that at all. I set up a really basic home studio and just started writing and composing. It’s the first time I ever really just built a song from nothing. What came out was the first song, which was called “Lonely Child.” I felt like that was good name for me as well. I’ve always had trouble saying what I really wanted to say in music, I think mainly because I was afraid my mom wouldn’t like it. But being in character is very liberating. It really opened me up in ways I couldn’t have imagined. So basically, Lonely Child is how I say whatever I’m feeling and experiment without fear.

TST: Who are your major musical influences?

LC: That’s a tough question. I’m really into textures so definitely anything that sounds amazing, anything that has an enveloping sound that sucks you in, well-engineered records. Producer/songwriter/big picture type people are really who I gravitate towards in terms of the music itself. Super duper short list of old and new: Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jon Brion, James Blake, D’Angelo, Kanye, Radiohead, Flying Lotus, and I’m a massive jazz fan so pretty much anything from the 50s and 60s on Blue Note and Impulse!. I also work at a studio called 5th St. Studios in Austin and I’ve learned a lot from our engineers there on the analog end as well. It’s helped me a lot! I’ve also noticed lately how much old video game music is just ingrained into my subconscious. The Donkey Kong Country trilogy soundtracks are still awesome!

TST: Your self-titled song premiered at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival. Tell me about how that came about?

LC: For a short time, I had a video collaborator named Timmer O’Phelan who was on board to do videos with each song as they came out, kind of tie the whole project together and to fill the gap between songs. He ended up only making that one video but I was blown away! He’d never done animation before. He’s from Minneapolis and his old film professor or something saw the video and entered it for us. It’s cool people got to see it outside of YouTube.

TST: You’ve released a steady stream of tracks through 2012. How will you know when this collection is done?

LC: I don’t think it will ever be done. As long as I feel like I have room to grow as a musician and a songwriter, I will keep doing it.

TST: Do you have a goal you’re reaching for?

LC: Ideally, I’ll be able to sit down for a year or two and really hone in on Lonely Child and do a proper record instead of like four singles a year. That’d be really cool. But for now, I really don’t have the resources to do something like that.

TST: Will these songs be packaged together in some form or standing on their own?

LC: They’re just on my Bandcamp page for now. Originally, this was going to be a whole audio/video experiment with a video for each song and a cool, interactive website-as-album concept. That still might happen but, like I said, Timmer isn’t involved anymore. I’d love to put out 45s with the instrumental on the B-side at some point. If you buy any of the songs now, you get the instrumental for free. The instrumental is on a creative commons license so you can sample it and remix it for free. And again, someday I’d love to do a proper record.

TST: Do you intend to tour?

LC: I’d love to! I toured a lot a few years ago as a guitar player and I got a little burnt out but it’s been a year and half and I’ve kind of got the itch again. I’m pretty busy at the moment so having enough material to tour with and putting together a band that can play this stuff seems impossible. It would be super fun to perform this music someday. Right now, I’ve got a massive 16-minute set so I think it’ll be a while.

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