Royal & The Serpent - Rat Trap IV

Royal & The Serpent
Rat Trap IV

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The fourth instalment of THE RAT TRAP is a guitar and vocal selection with minimal additions. This three-song lineup is sub-titled The Burden. Royal & The Serpent have created an interesting pathway through the different sounds, with the lyrics being a unifying force.

The songs focus on different perspectives of relationships, with thematic videos that all start from a similar perspective.

U Ruined Frank Ocean 4 Me

The first track, ‘U Ruined Frank Ocean 4 Me’, is a song about how a break-up can ruin the music that had been adding its soundtrack to the relationship. It uses a warm clean electric guitar with just a subtle foot-tap beat to create a sad mood. The angelic vocal arrangement after the chorus gives it a little lift, returning to add richness to the second verse, becoming almost haunting by the reprise.

I’ve been sleeping in your boxers and watching trash TV
Even convincing myself that Santa Fe’s not far away from me
I’ve been thinking about you and how it couldn’t be
I can’t handle one more melody
You ruined Frank Ocean for me

Watch Royal & The Serpent – ‘U Ruined Frank Ocean 4 Me’.

Separation Anxiety

The acoustic beginnings of ‘Separation Anxiety’ are round and soft, the song offering an apology for the behaviour manifested through insecurity. Though the song offers apologies for all the awful things that are done during anxious moments, you can’t help but feel an undertone of trauma bonding.

I’m sorry. I’m trying, I’m trying to love you
Forgive me. I’m trying, I’m trying to love you
How many chances do I get?
How come you haven’t left me yet?
I wonder why
I get this feeling in my chest
When I’m alone I must confess
I’m terrified

Musically, the stripped-down first verse with a vocal EQ’d to hint at a telephone conversation grows into a chorus with delicate harmonies and the beginnings of some rich strings. It all falls away for the second verse, only to come back stronger for the following chorus.

Watch Royal & The Serpent – ‘Separation Anxiety’.


The bright alt-pop of ‘Oops’ is the toffee coating on a smart slice of storytelling, an accidental relationship that needs to be crushed before someone’s feelings get hurt… easier said than done. It’s playful with the theme, starting with some sexting and escalating while the undertone quickly emerges to throw water on the prospects.

Musically, the piano adds a neat motif as well as gentle strokes to the chorus. The song uses rhythm to keep things bright and the short two-minute length will leave you wanting more.

Watch Royal & The Serpent – ‘Oops’.

The Rat Trap

You can catch the other instalments of The Rat Trap in our articles: Part I The Blueprint and Part II The Burn, and Part III The Band Aid.

Written by Fenton on

Steve Fenton writes in our music, words, and culture categories. He was Editor in Chief for The Mag and covered live music for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues throughout the UK alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve is also a technical writer and programmer and writes gothic fiction. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

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