Randy Bryan is an emerging singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who made his professional solo recording debut in 2022 with the single “Limit.” That track introduced a talented South Carolina-born and Virginia-based artist with an eclectic, genre-bending sound. It also introduced producer e.flamingo.
e.flamingo and Randy Bryan met in 2021, working side-by-side in a Richmond restaurant kitchen. They bonded over a mutual appreciation for pop hook and fat beats. Once the started making music together, the duo discovered they had creative as well as personal chemistry.
A few months ago Randy proposed an ambitious project, to record a cover of Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love.” The original is the title track to the singer’s 1985 masterpiece album that spawned “Running Up that Hill,” the song made famous for a second time this year thanks to its prominence in the latest season of Stranger Things.
“Hounds of Love” is the brand new single from Randy Bryan, released worldwide via all major streaming services on June 24, 2022. Ambient synths and samples open the track. Soon the beat drops on that unmistakable percussive Kate Bush rhythm and synthwave vibe.
Whereas the original track featured a sparse arrangement of vocals, keys and drums, Bryan and e.flamingo’s take on the song expands the soundscape with a smooth natural bass guitar, a deep modern EDM kick and orchestral strings. The singer pairs that retro-future vibe with a soulful telling of Kate Bush’s esoteric tale of love and anxiety.
Check out “Hounds of Love” below. You can also hear the song on the Deep Indie Dive playlist, or listen on your favorite streaming service. We had the chance to chat with Randy about the project. Check out his answer to our 7 questions below. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with Randy Bryan. Get on his socials and get in the loop on all of the music to come from this talented team.
7 Questions with Randy Bryan
Where are you from?
I grew up and spent the first 18 years of my life in a small town in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina named Bishopville – a very flat historically agricultural community where cotton is the cash crop. We lived on the edge of a swamp known for a mythological creature called the Lizard Man.
My second home has always been deep in the Appalachian region of Virginia on the Kentucky border where my father’s people originate. I credit the scots-irish blood for my drive to soothe with music and my beginnings as a folk musician.
I currently reside in my chosen home of Richmond, Virginia which finds me perfectly triangulated between my hometowns to the south and west, and the opportunity to easily travel into the Northeast.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been singing since before I can remember thanks to a very musically-inclined grandmother. She really nurtured my love and interest for music and led me down that path during the first years of my life. Picked up the piano at 10 and guitar at 13… played drums, bass, dulcimer, harmonica and even picked up playing the harp in my late 20s.
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
Bass, Drums, Drum Mixing, and Coproduction all are credited to the artist e.flamingo (they/them).
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I’m a huge fan of singularity in music. Artists who make art that no one could change or do one better. My grandmother, Kate Bush, Joanna Newsom, Beach House, Adrianne Lenker/Big Thief, New Order, The Judds, Tori Amos, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Loretta Lynn, Angel Olsen, The Cure, The Smiths, The Knife, Psychedelic Furs
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
I’ve always greatly related the poetry of Nabrokav, Plath, Cummings, Neruda, Frost. And philosophy of Nietsche, Heidegger, Chomsky, Weber
What inspired you to create this project?
When I began producing my own music in collaboration with e. flamingo, I was working on a vision board in which the message “Take it from Cathy” appeared and wanted to be included in the board. I had just healed from receiving a tattoo on my forearm that represents my highest played song on Spotify every year – Hounds of Love by Kate Bush. At that moment, I had the idea to record Hounds of Love as an attempt to fully immerse myself in music production. 6 months later as I was finishing up the track, I caught wind that Kate Bush would be featured in Stranger Things and rushed to finish the mix. Little did I know just how successful that placement would be for Kate Bush and her music. The day the track was released, Kate Bush was number 1 all over the world.
For me Hounds of Love speaks loudly. Last year, after 20 years of seeking answers for the challenges I have faced with my mental health. I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (level 1), formerly known as Asperger’s syndrome. In that moment my life made complete sense – my hyperfocus, my sensitivities, my introvertedness, my emotional dysregulation, and my rituals. Music had always just been me trying to recreate what I heard in my head. I never learned music formally but could always just kind of find myself figuring it out – like wandering around a dark room looking for your keys.
Hounds of Love is an allegory for avoiding intimacy. This spoke to me on such a deep level as it really informed how I deal with my interpersonal relationships with others. My obsession with the song and Hounds of Love album at large, led me to include many references to other tracks on the album which you can find embedded across the recording. I also found myself for the first time arranging a 14 piece orchestra as accompaniment.
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
Hounds of Love will be featured on an extended seven track ep this fall. The sonic texture of the track gives important insight into the rest of the original music that will be featured on the project. At this point in my life I’m simply saying yes to my music, I see myself working collaboratively with many different artists in effort to bring forth my vision, as well as theirs. If the vibe is there it’s a “yes for me dawg.” (Randy Jackson joke)