Founded by Canadian-American Ricardo Ryan, who handles the vocals, guitar, and harmonica, and Swiss Christian Fonjallaz, who plays bass, synth, and sings backing vocals, and later joined by accomplished drummer, Pascal J Kramer, Sonic Rade are an alternative rock group based in Geneva, Switzerland. The trio, who take their influences across a wide range of musical genres, from 50s rock right through to the modern day stylings, have become a much sought after staple in the Geneva music scene, and are now appealing to an international audience.
Sonic Rade’s second album, ‘Sideways’, captured four first-round ballot nominations for the 2017 Grammy Awards, and they’ve continued to maintain a regular touring schedule across Europe. Sonic Rade recently released their fourth studio album, ‘Acacias’, with the Italian label VDM Records.
‘Masquerade’, their latest single and lead track from ‘Acacias’, is a veritable firestorm, harking back to the 80s with dramatic synths layered over distorted alt power cords, with the melancholic melody reminiscent of Cutting Crew’s, ‘(I Just) Died In Your Arms’. That is where the similarities end however, as the haunting lyrics take over, outlining the despair surrounding the hollowness of experience. “You know it’s all a masquerade”. Nothing is truly real.
Vocalist Ricardo Ryan gives it his all, belting out the haunting lyrics, while later treating listeners to an incredible and unexpected harmonica solo.
The music video for ‘Masquerade’ takes another leaf out of the 1980s rock playbook, with a nod to New Wave noir, and shot entirely in stark black and white. Shots of the band playing in an underground space, interspersed with clips of a woman as she finds her way through the deserted streets of Old Town, in Nice, France. The neutral tones of the video are a perfect mirror to the sombre sound of the song, giving us an incredibly captivating experience, both auditory and visual.