Run River North just released their brand new single "Pretty Lies" and to celebrate we asked Alex Hwang to tell us about the track. Here is the story:
It's April 2019, there's no Corona and we've got a spring tour lined up to introduce a new lineup, new songs. While preparing for the tour, we're still getting in as many writing sessions as possible. We get really lucky and we have one schedule with Sir Sly. We've been following them for a minute, they had just done SXSW while we were there and we heard they played a set where they played one of their hit songs two or three times in a row. I personally thought that was hilarious and truly what an encore should be.
As we arrive, it's the backhouse of one of the band member's houses - an amazing studio where they flipped the control room into the drum room and vise-versa. The three of us are sitting on the couch and the three of them are sitting on stools and at the head of the computer. It's always a little awkward starting a songwriting session, so we start sharing tour stories and swap demos to listen to. While we're listening to one of our demos, Landon of Sir Sly leans over to Hayden and cups his hand to share some thoughts about our demo or possibly something that had nothing to do with anything at all. Either way, I wrote down the lyric - "I cup my hand to keep my words safe". I was reminded how as a child that's how I would keep secrets and it made words prettier in a sense.
Landon and I split off to work on lyrics and the rest of the bands' members start building the world of the song. We share stories, the rest of the bands start making a story and by the time we come back - we've got a verse and chorus. Landon is a beast with melodies and lyrics and then he brings up a suggestion to rap. For me, I think if I don't have a good answer to "why not" then I never ask "why".
What comes next is Sally getting on the mic to try the bars that Landon has started coming up with. It's incredible and everyone is pretty happy with where we're at with a second verse with Sally and 808's and little trap beats tastefully finding their way into the world of Pretty Lies. Coming up with the end was my favorite part. We started picking up electric guitars and bass guitars and finding downstrums as the perfect release and return back to a band feel to the song.
After 5-6 hours, we're driving back home and Jason bounces a rough version of our session. Songwriting is so incredible sometimes. We started the day not knowing each other's bands/stories and by the end of the day, a complete, wonderful song was made out of thin air. It is magic and maybe sometimes it can be a pretty lie but Pretty Lies is most assuredly not.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below