Runabay takes a multi-level view of the concept of symmetry in its song of that title. “Symmetry” is interesting on three levels – scientifically, emotionally and melodically. Each level evidences Runabay’s investment in and commitment to the song.
Scientifically, Runabay gives a nod to Public Service Broadcasting by incorporating two snippets of a 1964 lecture by physicist Richard Feynman. During the intro, the snippet is subordinate to a gentle acoustic guitar hook, as Feynman rhetorically asks for a definition of symmetry. Around the three-minute mark, the observation is that the universe cannot be experimentally studied. Unlike songs from Public Service Broadcasting, the historically significant speech does not play a major role in “Symmetry.” But the snippets do add to the attractiveness of the single.
Emotionally, “Symmetry” is a mature and intelligent exploration of trying to right the wrong after hurting someone you love. Runabay explains, “It’s a story of redress and reconciliation, whereby an intended transformation through a course of actions seeks to put right a wrong; bringing symmetry and harmony back into the relationship.”
Melodically, the band’s investment in the song is apparent from start to finish. Runabay has two advantages that few bands possess in enhancing the impact of an already attractive melody. There are at least four members who are ready to contribute to the vocals, some sources list all six members. Runabay has the songwriting skills to draft beautiful three-part harmonies and the vocal skills to grip the attention of listeners when the harmonies are presented. Equally important is the advantage of having a cello player who provides contrast and often tension within the soothing melodies.
Runabay is an Indie Folk band from Belfast, Ireland. The members are John McManus (vocals/guitar), Gary Graham (guitar/vocals), Gerard McHugh (vocals/percussion), Michael McKinney (bass/vocals), Declan McCartan (cello/vocals) and Rory McAuley (drums/vocals).