Renegade: Falling Out Of Love With Yesterday. Review and chat with Ewen Rivallain

I fully admit my musical references can be kind of old. Haha I’m old – quelle surprise. However, with the opening bars from those talented Holmfirth men Renegade and their new single, Falling Out Of Love With Yesterday, the only band immediately on my lips was ABBA. There’s a huge retro disco sound to launch this song and let me tell you; it’s just sweet perfection. Bonus; it’s the silver coated larynx of Ewen Rivallain absolutely nailing the vocals on the song, rather than old Benny and Bjorn giving it a bash.

Falling Out Of Love With Yesterday or FOOLWY (as the band themselves have referred to it) continues on with a very very radio friendly vibe; I get a feeling that The 1975 fans would find a lot to like here (I’ll say it now: I’ve seen The 1975 live three times and adore them). There’s a very accessible contemporary feel here.

I name check some reet music royalty in this review but this song is no mere pastiche; there is a lot of thought and effort drawn into this Renegade tune. As is customary for this band (Ewen Rivallain (vocals), Eddie Kirkby-Geddes (guitar), Will Senior (guitar), Alex Philokyprou (bass) and Max Slingsby (Drums)), the lyrics are intense and thoughtful; this is a lad with a severe dose of love sick. The past love of yesterday is taunting the present.

Renegade succeed where even ABBA never dared to tread; a rap verse. The spoken lines in this track do a great job in drawing the song out. With the superpowers invested in me as an international music reviewer, I snatched some of lead singer and main lyricist Ewen’s time to find out a bit more about how FOOLWY came to fruition.

The rap part is something that I’d started writing quite a while before we started to write FOOLWY.

Then when writing the second verse for FOOLWY I decided to try it out to see how the the fast vocals would sound over the rhythm of the song. The title of the song ‘Falling Out of Love With Yesterdayappears towards the end of the rap section and that’s actually what inspired the rest of the song”.

To support FOOLWY Renegade have also released what I can only describe as a beautifully fragile acoustic version of their earlier single, Bite Lip.

This version of Bite Lip feels like the intensely delicate musical equivalent of handling 200 year old lace (ha, as my former beloved was a textile designer, I do have some experience). There are no unintended holes as here the acoustic treatment draws out the sensitive observational lyric, the nicely balanced twangly guitars, and the vulnerability of the vocals.

When we moved on to talking about the song, Ewen told me:

The acoustic Bite Lip came from us wanting to release music during lockdown and it seemed like a good way to do it without having to spend ages recording and producing.

Retrospectively there are some aspects of the original Bite Lip that I think we could have done differently, so I suppose the acoustic version shows a side of the song that never made it to the finished product, but which inspired a lot of the creative process”.

I take a lot of stock on assessing people on their hair and footwear (look at presidents and prime ministers: naff hairstyle = untrustworthy leader). I might appreciate the comfort of a hush puppy but it’s never going to happen. I’ll confirm with their cool footwear alone, Renegade are real contenders.

Footwear envy

Moving swiftly away from the random observation on footwear (haha their hush puppies will never leave the wardrobe again), Ewen also explained the recording process which feels like a very fortunate way for the band:

All of the production, recording and mixing is done by our very own Eddie, our guitarist. We’ve actually never spent more than 2 or 3 hours in the studio, just to record drum tracks as it’s not as easy to do that ourselves.

The way we produce a song tends to be that Eddie writes the music for a song and I then write the lyrics. We bring the song to the rest of the band, developing it and tweaking it together.

Once we feel like it’s fully developed, we record the drum track at Vibrations Studio in Huddersfield. We record everything else in the barn that we practice in at Max’s house and then Eddie gets to work mixing and mastering the track.”

Renegade sound like a band with a full pack of cards. I can imagine these guys could even make music during a nuclear holocaust. That made me wonder what post pandemic might look like for Renegade.

Ewen told me: “We’re not going anywhere for at least the next year, so we’re gonna be focusing a lot on writing songs and getting them released.

Gigs are looking uncertain to say the least for the coming weeks/months, so we’re looking to increase our online presence for now. As soon as the opportunity for gigs opens up again however, we’ll be right back there.

For the meantime, we’ve got 2 new songs nearing completion, so they can be expected in the near future as soon as we’ve finished recording”.

Chris R

* Images taken from the band’s social media and many thanks for Ewen for being so generous with his time.

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