Some people hide. They conceal themselves from toxic people, places, and things. For a long time, Ron Gallo was choosing all the wrong people for all the wrong reasons—until he figured himself out. On his new single “HIDE (MYSELF BEHIND YOU),” the Nashville-based artist explores why people run and hide, hurt others, and why everyone just needs to stop chasing other people.
“The idea of love is all fucked up,” says Gallo. “It gets confused for the temporary high feeling and then people run when things get real or difficult. People get hurt, then hurt more people, and it’s a cycle.”
Marked by pinpointed lyrics and upbeat drum beats, the dynamic instrumentation conceals the slightly darker narrative of “HIDE,” yet Gallo’s delivery is priceless, and a bit humorous, even as he sings I can’t be alone / The unbearable tone of silence.
Perhaps “HIDE,” initially written following a Valentine’s Day party in 2018 where Gallo found himself bitterly doubting the love among the couples surrounding him, is a tongue-in-cheek love song, but it explores the harsher reality of how people sometimes chase love and get burned by it.
“It’s being with someone because how they make you feel or the idea of them rather than who they really are,” says Gallo, who admits to choosing the wrong people in his life because he didn’t know himself. “Sometimes we say ‘I love you, I want to be with you’ but maybe we really mean ‘I don’t like me, I don’t want to be with myself and you can help distract me from me.’”
The moral of the “HIDE” story: “relax, stop chasing, just be you and the right thing will happen.”
Written and recorded during three months of self-isolation with his wife and collaborator Chiara, Gallo pulled in Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley), remotely, for additional production and mixing.
Obsessed with color blocking, “HIDE” was conceptualized in the same way—pulling different pieces that wouldn’t normally go together and making it work, as a song. When the drums were originally recorded in Italy, where Gallo was planning on living for some time with his wife before the pandemic forced them to return to America, he experimented with sound. He would play the demo for the drummer, then asked him to play the first thing that came to mind. Everything from Ringo Starr to pretending to drum to a John Coltrane or ’90s hip-hop song came out—the latter was the main backbone of the rhythm section on “HIDE.”
Shot and edited by Gallo, the video pieced together much like the track. While quarantined, Gallo also bought a green screen and learned how to use it. “My favorite thing about it so far is that I can fake put myself anywhere in a time when I can’t go anywhere,” says Gallo of his new experimentation in visual effects, “and then when I rewatch it, it’s kind of like being somewhere else.”
Previous single “You Are Enough” was also deliberately more upbeat, a vibe Gallo is striving for these days, to help buffer emotions during these uncertain times. Admitting that he often feels like an outsider living in Nashville, his response was to create his own virtual world by launching REALLYNICE.world, a site that initially started out as a platform for his random thoughts and evolved into a clothing line and digital festival.
“My music up until now has mostly been acidic-in-your-face-trying-to-prove-a-point-and-highlight-all-the-injustice-and-bullshit-in-the-world stuff,” says Gallo. “Now I am more into just trying to make people happy via music to counter the heaviness while continuing to use my voice in other ways.”