Song Deconstructed: ‘Untie The Ropes’ by Komraus
The London-based cinematic electronic outfit’s singer and songwriter, Sara Rioja, explains how their debut album’s title track came to be
Rising London cinematic-electronic trio Komraus is the brainchild of songwriters/composers Sara Rioja (vocals) and Martin Komraus, with Giuseppe Grondona on drums and Miguel Ramires on the keyboards and synths. Here we invited vocalist Sara to take us through the constituent parts of the title track of their debut album, explaining how the song came together…
“The main inspiration for this song was Björk song Joga. Not only for the strings-keys sections but as well for all the epic feeling within. When we included the real drums in it with Giuseppe Grondona, the main inspiration was epic soundtrack music, as well as world music, kind of Enya and some of the tunes from Game Of Thrones. It is funny when you consciously have to think about it because when we listen to the song, it feels very natural.”
“I wanted this song to talk about personal growth in a positive way. I could sense that epic feeling from the musical side and I wanted to match it. When I write lyrics I often picture a scene in my mind. In this case, the scene was in a wild forest closed to a beach. A half-naked woman is the one saying the words.
“I wanted the song to be simple in this sense but with clear statements and images that would help the listeners to see what I was seeing and resonate with them. I feel we all go through phases when we are looking for who we truly are. This song is about that search, that personal growth and liberation from things and people that impose [on] us who we have to be, rather than [us] choosing it.
“The ending of all lines in the verses is ‘Myself’. I wrote it in that simple way in order to state that at the end of the day this all we have: ourselves. It is with ourselves who we have to really deal with if we want to move forward.”
“The music was composed by Martin Komraus. He made a first demo, where all the sound design and music layout we listen to today was already there. Very minimal and very captivating at the same time. I fell in love with the music immediately and started to work on some melodies for some parts. But mainly on the sort of emotional work I was going to put in in order to develop it vocally. I wanted the verses to be quiet, as it as an initial revelation with oneself and I wanted the chorus to be bursting and very expressive as a shout of freedom.”
In The Studio
“The band and I went to the studio after months or rehearsing all songs, which were based on the initial demos Martin and myself developed first. When we went to the studio in West London (Greystoke Studios) we had all [the] songs very clear. We wanted to record all songs in one full take with all of us playing at the same time. It was a great and [fulfilling] experience. We could feel the song was alive and full of the same energy we have when we play live. Same moments and same dynamics.”
“When the song was finished we started a collaboration with the not-for-profit organization CEAR (Spanish commission helping refugees) and this song was the one we picked to help them in their amazing job raising awareness and funds for the LGBT refugees, who bravely have to leave their countries looking for themselves and escaping from death in some cases. We thought this song would represent this very well. Therefore we included this message in a subtle way in Untie the ropes music video with the help of our great creative director, Pedro Caxade. We have been very lucky as the reception is being really good and the support we are receiving and therefore these refugees are receiving is being amazing.”
Komraus’ debut album, which is also called Untie The Ropes, is due out on 15 February 2019 via M.A.R.S. For more info, go to komraus.com