“Hey Girl Hey” Now Available! + Liner Notes

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RayLiner Notes…
Having come off of an album as dark, cryptic, and just plain bizarre as “Jessica and the Silver Eclipse,” I knew the next album’s direction would need to be the opposite: bright, simple, and catchy. ‘Simple’ was the most difficult of these three for me to wrestle with, as I typically find myself adding more and more complexity to a song whether its foundation is ready for it or not. Stripping songs down to their essentials is sure to expose weaknesses, and it was through this process that I learned a great deal about how to achieve my goals.

While Jessica and the Silver Eclipse dealt with the traumas within my 5-year relationship with Jessica Barriga, “Hey Girl Hey” is all about the experiences of searching for the right girlfriend and enjoying life in the process.

A La Mode:
The very first song written for the album, and also one of the biggest struggles. It was a long time before the overall structure came together – there’s something deadly about letting a song-in-progress sit without being changed for too long. Even if it’s bad, it begins to solidify as ‘that’s what it’s supposed to be’ because my ears are becoming used to it. So keeping the song from drying up allowed me to keep pouring creativity into it until it finally blossomed. Here are two clips from the early stages of production: Early Clip 1 | Early Clip 2

The lyrics refer to a female friend who said they wanted advice, but all they really wanted to hear from me was what they already decided was the right answer.

Rainbows and Curves:
I could never nail down the right lyrics for the first and second verse, and I have since questioned whether I should have removed lyrics entirely. Regardless, it’s a pretty decent bass-driven rock song I have come to enjoy for its unapologetic simplicity.

These lyrics are pretty random, to be honest.

Lead the Attack:
The very last song finished, and it wasn’t even very definitive at the time. It was all over the place in terms of melodies and song structures, and at some point I said, “that’s just going to have to do – I’ll stick it at the end of the album.” But as time carried on, I really grew fond of its unexpected synth-solos and ever-changing drum rhythms. In the end, it earned its place as an early lead on the album, and a personal favorite of mine that sums up what the record is all about.

This song was written about a very short-lived relationship of three weeks during the creation of the album, and how her decision to break things off was the right call.

App Fer That (feat. Tim Ferrell):
There’s a lot to be said here, but overall we just tried to have a lot of fun. It didn’t come out quite as focused as I originally intended, but was a fun experiment in a style outside of my boundaries. Oh, did I mention it features some autotuned lightsabers?

Digital Delight ’10:
First appearing on “Proto a Go Go” in 2004, I recently reworked this song from scratch for my live concerts when I discovered the original file was incompatible with my newer software. Knowing that it had been a hit with fans of my early work, it was time to reintroduce it to a brand new audience.

While I don’t remember exactly what “Past Ray” was thinking six years ago regarding the lyrics, I at least know it’s about deciding on which videogame console is your favorite.

It’s Just a Dream:
The lyrics are not written about any one particular girl, but do deal with the constant inner-struggle of whether our soul-mates exist or if they are simply a fantasy.

Monkey Bossa Nova:
Was having fun playing around with the themes of Monkey Golf 2 and Monkey Target 2 from Super Monkey Ball 2, and decided to give it a fun bossa nova spin. I considered making it a call and return between boy and girl vocals, but that was eventually dropped to keep it a simple instrumental.

Neon Spring Blossoms:
I’ve always had a thing for K.K.Slider’s tunes in Animal Crossing, and had a sudden realization in the shower that I could humorously turn the Spring Blossoms song into a lightning-fast electric-rock version. As time passed, I came to fall in love with how tight and metronomic it came together, and its short length allows it to be just the right amount of burst for a memorable song.

The lyrics are about living a life in Animal Crossing.

Quota Zero (hey girl hey)
I wanted to take full advantage of creating unique and quirky drum fills, and this song became the canvas for that activity. What followed was a lot of “I’ve been meaning to this in my music for a while now,” so all kinds of random sounds and tricks were thrown in. Whatever stuck as entertaining stayed. This was written just after A La Mode. Here’s a very early clip from its darker beginnings: Early Clip 3

Simply put, this song is about showing my availability on the dating market. The title refers to the lyrics “I’ve got to fill my quota still,” which was eventually removed from the finished product. The original title stuck though, since I’ve never had title tracks on my previous albums, and I intend to keep that tradition.

Pure Imagination
One of the last songs written. Initially intended solely for my live shows, I eventually jumped through the right amount of legal hoops to ensure it had a spot on the album. The original song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a bit wild when it comes to tempo and structure, so condensing it into a pop structure finally squeezed all of its memorable moments into a nice bite-size chunk. One quality I wanted to remain intact was its open and sometimes ominous atmosphere. My singing voice is admittedly poor, but the dry vocals on this one allow a pretty personal connection.

Star Man Constellation
I’ve always wanted to do my own version of Star Man’s theme in Mega Man 5, but the song is already enveloped by a such a classic 8-bit staccato sound that I decided to go the opposite direction: smooth and spacious. I really enjoy the two counter-melodies working in harmony in the last half of the song, but there was an entire bridge I removed from the middle because it dragged way too much.

Time Bomb
Certain personal choices result in what I consider to be a time bomb – in which the future is forever changed and there is no going back. This was written as a follow-up to Jessica and the Silver Eclipse. Sadness and hope abound.

Lyrics can be found here. If you have any other questions regarding the album, I’d be more than happy to take a swing at them. Otherwise, leave me your comments and reviews and I hope you enjoy the album!

– Ray


30 Comments

  1. JohnW says:

    Got it from iTunes today. Will write a review!

  2. Teengamer says:

    Thanks for explaining some of these songs – I was listening to the samples and utterly bewildered about some of them.

    You have quite a talent in music, and I commend you on your brilliant work in this album, as well as the other ones. I hope to order them soon.

    Even though I’m not a big fan of 8-bit music together with vocals, I still REALLY like the retro video game songs that you added.

    Here’s to hoping it sells well! 😀

    -TG

  3. TheKickAwesome says:

    I NEED. NOW. RIGHT NOW.

  4. allpowerfuldet says:

    I ordered my physical copy and it arrived yesterday. I love every second of it, Ray. And this is the first of your music that I have heard. I’ll probably do a video review soon.

  5. black n white says:

    So I listened to it one time, and fell in love. It really keeps me chipper. Review on Amazon will be coming soon.

  6. Flame10A says:

    GODDAMNIT! IT HAD TO BE THE MOMENT I WAS OUT OF ITUNES CREDIT!

    • Flame10A says:

      ok, I don’t have the album itself right now but just from listening to the itunes previews I can tell it’s all brilliant! I look forward to getting the album itself!

  7. Pi says:

    Who’s the quote on your website from- the one about the album being some sort of laser? And what’s the full quote? I always read the quotes in the first few pages of books with a healthy degree of skepticism- “…A volume…of terrifying power…” makes me wonder what was said in those dots.
    Don’t get me wrong- I love the album, even though you might have been supposed to get twice the money- my brother and I split it on iTunes, which might make us pirates? I’m not sure. I’ll buy a parrot and look into prosthetics just in case.
    Keep up the great work- and keep making the podcasts! I love them.

  8. Kelster165 says:

    It was really cool to see the stories behind these songs. And your singing isn’t THAT bad…or maybe I’m just used to it now. Either way, great job Ray!

  9. Demonhuntern says:

    GAHH I can’t find a single place to pirate the entire album or even single songs themselves!

    • JohnW says:

      I hope you’re joking…

      • Demonhuntern says:

        Nope I’m completely serious! Can’t find it anywhere. I’m also broke so buying it is never going to be an option.

      • Doopliss says:

        Your display picture went very well with your comment.

        And I also hope you’re joking. How can you not have enough money? If not, why would you post that here? You are no longer a true 2P START! fan in my eyes… If that matters to anyone.

  10. Doopliss says:

    Got the album from iTunes, and I loved it, I like how you put monkey bossa nova on it, as ever since whatever podcast that was, I’ve wanted to have it by itself. Other than that, my favourite is A La Mode.

    And Ray, this’ll make your blood boil:

    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/gt-video-shadow-the/8472

  11. jOnah says:

    can i get lyrics for any of the songs? (particularly a la mode,i love it sooo much!)

  12. D3vin says:

    For the people who has the whole alblum, is it worth getting the whole thing or downloading the songs I like?

    • Doopliss says:

      Well, you will like all the songs, so… the album.

      There’s definetely a mixture of genres here, and they are all great. Plus, Monkey Bossa Nova. Nuff’ said.

  13. jOnah says:

    thanks ray! i love a la mode,as well as quota zero 🙂

  14. Moonjuice7 says:

    I have to admit, it is all about Lead the Attack. A La Mode, Digital Delight, and Quota Zero come in a three way tie for second, but even so. I enjoy the whole album. I am not really sold on app fer that, but i still listen to it every once in a while. I was really skeptical when i realized you were adding vocals to the music, since i have only heard Pixel Vision and a couple pieces of the ever elusive Proto a go go, none of which had lyrics, but you pulled it off. It was well worth the ten dollars in iTunes gift cards I spent. Congratulations on a great album and good luck with teh future relationships.

  15. Ember Web Ninja says:

    Just ordered my copy! Can’t wait till it arrives

  16. Corbin Brickhouse says:

    If my school ever has a talent show, I’ll sign up and sing either Lead the Attack or A la mode!

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