Rupert Lally : Solid State Memories

Solid State Memories tells the tale of Dr. Alexandra Wells, a Neuroscientist working in the field of memory, who wakes up one morning with her partner Rachel seemingly disappeared from her life. The night before she was there, the next day it’s as if she hasn’t existed in years. Alex falls into a mystery of epic proportions as she attempts to retrace her steps in order to find out what happened to her partner, as well as avoid being captured by the shadowy grop that’s after her and what’s in her head.

Musician and author Rupert Lally writes a tight and engaging science fiction novella with Solid State Memories, a book originally published back in 2021. Along with the book, Lally wrote and recorded an accompanying electronic score. Originally only available digitally, the soundtrack has received a double vinyl release courtesy of Third Kind Records. A fantastic and melancholy score created using modular and vintage synths, as well as propulsive percussion and orchestral elements, Solid State Memories is a stunning album that adds depth and emotional connectivity to the story. It’s also a wonderful standalone LP of lush electronics and melancholy twists and turns.

Rupert Lally has a knack for writing music that puts you in a headspace. He’s not a stranger to visually-rich sound. All of his work paints visions in your mind as you listen. He’s inspired by science fiction, having dedicated two albums to works by Ray Bradbury, an album dedictaed to places in the novels of Stephen King, as well as just conjuring worlds in his music as a whole. Solid State Memories is no different; he paints sadness, confusion, tension, and redemption on this album, things that play a big part in his novella of the same name. He even name drops certain science fiction writers throughout the book, naming some of his characters “Bradbury”, “Matheson”, and “Heinlein” as odes to his literary heroes.

Musically the score does a great job of building the world within the book. Quiet reflection, melancholy swirls, and even mounting dread at the thought that Alex will never find out what happened to her life and her partner. Big Brother-like authority figures chasing after her in order to use her work and research for nefarious reasons, the music brings us into this word and Alex’ headspace. It’s a stunning score for a tightly wound and engaging story. Elements of Clint Mansell, John Carpenter, and John Harrison’s work with George Romero echo in the music here, as well as contemporaries like Steve Moore and Ben Lovett.

Solid State Memories works as both a love story and a cautionary tale of technology turning against us in the wrong hands. “The best intentions pave the way to Hell” someone once said, and when shadowy government groups, brain chips, and mind control are involved you can almost guarantee it’s not going to end well. Rupert Lally wrote a fantastic novella and an equally fantastic score to accompany it.

Solid State Memories is out now via Third Kind Records.

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