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  • Ellie McGuire

Realma Presents New Single ‘Down the Railway Spine’


Realma’s latest single "Down the Railway Spine" is a testament to her traditional contemporary music catalog.


An independent Serbian-Chinese polymodal musician, composer, and songwriter, Realma is an intimate musical persona. She confronts the daily grind in all its bright and dark hues through songwriting, which she employs as a transformative weapon of escape and reverie. Her songs, which have otherworldly sonorities and narratives, showcase a variety of themes due to the eclectic influence of several musical genres. Her music has a distinctly postmodern and atavistic tone that is at once empowering and sad, realistic and cinematic, and perpetually tinged with witchiness.


Alongside the song "Down the Railway Spine" is an intense animated music video. The production teeters on the brink of experimentation between a pop sound appropriate for a movie and game soundtracks. The intense orchestration, which is pulsating and action-packed, is combined with some unusual voice and instrumental elements blended with synth embellishments.


The artist was dealing with PTSD at the time of creating "Down the Railway Spine" due to a traumatic personal experience. The song's title is derived from the nineteenth-century term "railway spine," which was used by doctors to describe inexplicable symptoms that passengers in railway accidents suffered but which they were unaware was an early form of post-traumatic stress disorder. In this sense, the song depicts Realma's continuous struggle with an enormous roller coaster of mental health symptoms, many of which are antagonistic and conflicting, ranging from irritable panic episodes to depression, anxiety, and emotional numbness. Lyrically and musically, the conflict is transformed into a powerful piece that, at certain moments, evokes the atmosphere of a boss fight from a movie.


“Down the Railway Spine is a song that delves deep into my innermost dystopian moments dealing with PTSD. Both the lyrics and the music describe those dark times when I'd been fighting a whirlpool of emotions in episodes of mental deterioration. Yet, there is also a heroic tone to the music, something undefeated, where I address those pieces of us that remain courageous and continue to defy even the eyes of the worst downward spirals. While there is some affinity towards gaming styles like epic tracks from League of Legends, this single is much more experimental with a distinctly experimental edge and highly irregular 7/8 rhythms pulsating throughout. I'm also thrilled to be collaborating again with the award-winning animator, Mihajlo Dragas, whose animated 3D music video represents a unique visual interpretation of the song with poignant characters and powerful storytelling,” Realma comments on the release.




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