The Raquels are Columbus, Ohio natives branching out into the indie centric town of nostalgia. With their single “1982”, the music video and track are pure bliss in terms of 1980’s prowess. Electric and eclectic, the track holds synth weight similar to Passion Pit, MGMT and your favorite 80’s montage. We caught up with the band to discuss their single, the music video and how it came about.
Your music video for “1982” is great, what are some of your favorite bands/songs from that era?
As with any past decade time has sort of filtered out the less than remarkable pop culture and left us with the greatest hits so to speak! Some of our favorite nuggets from the 80’s would include films like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “Bad”, “Poltergeist”, and “Ghostbusters” (as well as the theme song of course!), as well as the music of groups like The Blue Nile, Talking Heads, Cameo, and Soft Cell. Those are the sort things that have been and were floating around while creating the video for “1982”. We love duality in art and really embrace noir-esque dark themes while trying not to take ourselves too seriously. After all we’re just four goofballs fumbling through our feelings!
What was the inspiration behind the song? What is the song about?
The chorus to “1982” came first and was really just meant to be a caricature of the dead and beaten horse that is pseudo 80’s or retro music. When the song was written that trend was in full swing. The rest of the lyrics were a personal account of being obsessed with the idea of a person that I had sort of sub-consciously (and unfairly) imposed upon them. Sometimes when you feel certain that you need someone or something your longing can cause you to fabricate that person or thing which will always unravel disastrously at one point or another. I think that the laughs I was having in the chorus reinforce the delusional narrative and misshapen identity from the verses. Its the type of nonsense that only someone who’s that caught up in themselves could offer to another person. We tried to reflect this theme in the video for “1982” by turning the antiquated and sexist “Damsel in distress” trope on it’s head. It’s not the twentieth century anymore, we’ve all seen more ill-hearted film plots than we needed.
Your band is really into using synth to create ambience and depth, why choose this over guitars and bass?
Synthesizers are capable of sculpting any sort sound you’ve yet to imagine! As compositional instruments they are so uniquely inspiring in a circular way in that sometimes the very sound you are creating will inspire a melody, harmony, or feel rather than the other way around. Music is a very human thing of course but provoking emotions with sounds that have yet to be applied to pop music structure and harmony is something very primal and beautiful. Brian Eno is beautiful example of this and definitely an influence on our palette. When we can’t be bothered to keep our guitars in tune it’s great to step back and let Dave loose with his keyboards. He’s like the Philip Brainard (see “Flubber”) of synthesizers!
I’m from Columbus, too. The scene is so diverse now, but indie has always been a staple I feel (I’m old now and live in Chicago, so I could be wrong). Does the city inspire your music at all?
We love Columbus as well as the abundance of talent and creativity that lives here! It’s great to be a part of a burgeoning scene such as this one that will only continue grow and become more inclusive. That being said, our hearts and minds are looking outside of the city to new experiences which is our biggest well of inspiration at this moment. Columbus is also home to our lead actress Spacedoe (see Instagram “spacedoe”) and “Loose Films” (http://loosefilms.com/) who we created the “1982” music video with. We can’t say enough about how talented, hard working, and smart Tasha and the guys at Loose are.
What was it like recording your first single for the first time?
Recording our first single for the very first time was a total disaster! We tried again and voila! “1982”.
How have you seen yourself grow as a band since forming to putting out “1982”?
Everything from the singles, to the video, to our performances and aesthetic have been met with a lot of enthusiasm. We’ve finally arrived at this place where we’re creating as a unit as opposed to just making sense of each other. It’s crazy to think how we’ve come from total obscurity to having a Netflix series!
Is there a record in the works? If so, what are some of those songs about or overlying theme if there is one?
Being a new group we’re still refining and exploring so we haven’t any plans to release an album just yet. We’ll be putting out several short EPs until its time to share a larger creative work. Having two writers in the group introduces a more complex perspective on the things we try to express in our lives. The music we’re writing at the moment captures our naïveté at odds with reality and coming of age.
Are there future shows or a tour in the works?
At the moment we’re splitting our efforts between planning a tour and releasing music in the new year. We’re also in talks to do a breakfast cereal commercial! Fingers crossed!