Song Spotlight: "A Little Fucked Up (But I Love You)" by Royal Haunts | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Song Spotlight: "A Little Fucked Up (But I Love You)" by Royal Haunts

Royal Haunts (Tony Resch) - PHOTO BY JORDAN ARMSTRONG
Photo by Jordan Armstrong
Royal Haunts (Tony Resch)
This groove-heavy, thumping song by Pittsburgh’s Royal Haunts is sure to get the party going wherever you play it. Mostly instrumental, this electro-pop song has a few spoken moments broken up by the beat that plays out the romance between two people who aren’t together but want to be.

Royal Haunts, also known as Tony Resch, makes music that resists being categorized. The track verges on haunting as it bumps along, “I love you” being repeated over the beat. It’s incredibly danceable despite the tenor of the vocals.

“I wanted the danceability of the song to come from the groove and composition, rather than big swells and dozens of synth layers," says Resch. "In the end, I think the song is about how meaningful it can be to communicate truthfully and the consequences of not telling someone how much you love them; and how that love can sustain through change and time. But it’s also about self-forgiveness. It’s about coming to terms with mistakes and finally discovering the true importance of love, be that for someone else, or for yourself.”

My first listen happened in the morning when I was still groggy with sleep, and it instantly revived me. The music video features two dancers, Joshua Orange and Alec, and their precise yet energetic movements are the perfect match for this song. The two are lit by an orange sun in an almost desert-like landscape, which blends well with the vibe of the track.

Watch the music, now available on YouTube, below:
Resch says the song is about wanting to tell someone how you feel about them, but not having the means to say it directly to them.

“‘A Little Fucked Up (But I Love U)' was written during a period of isolation this past winter," says Resch. "The pandemic was raging and I was going through a very difficult transformation. I had been regretting not telling someone I cared for the extent of my feelings, so I simply said what I couldn’t say to that person into the microphone like a freestyle. If you know me, the phrasing of the speech sounds exactly like how I would say it in real life. I think that adds to the potency and honesty of the message."

Resch adds that the production was an attempt to write a "modern house song" with instruments familiar to 1960s and 1970s R&B bands (think Bill Withers’ or Stevie Wonder’s live band).

The song was released on Soundcloud and Bandcamp in 2020 but was re-released on Spotify on July 16, 2021. It is available for streaming and purchase.

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