I had the great fortune of coming across Ra Ra Riot through a Spotify advertisement about a year and a half ago. After listening to their 2010 album The Orchard, I was immediately drawn in. Their arrangements of a standard band’s instruments along with a violin and cello create a sound that should not be missed.
Formed in 2006 at Syracuse University, Ra Ra Riot’s high-energy campus performances quickly drew the attention of the indie music scene. The band was signed to Barsuk Records in 2008, whom they have produced all three of their albums under.
Even though Ra Ra Riot is relatively young in terms of their work, their newest album Beta Love indicates a change in the band’s sound from previous years. This change was most likely influenced by the departure of cellist Alexandra Lawn, but the music doesn’t skip a beat because of it. The album (which can be streamed here, complete with unique music visualizer) is filled with significantly more electronic and synth sounds, but still meshes well with Wes Miles’s soothing falsetto’s and the now more occasional but welcomed violin stylings of member Rebecca Zeller. It will be interesting to see if the band is able (or willing) to perform any of their songs from The Orchard, given the new dynamic they have immersed themselves in.
Accompanying Ra Ra Riot on stage will be Pacific Air, (formerly KO KO) an indie pop duo consisting of brothers Taylor and Ryan Lawhon. Signed to Republic Records in 2012, they have since released a four song EP titled Long Live KO KO. In addition, the music video for their song “Float” dropped on February 26th, and definitely shows promise for the duo’s future.
The show starts at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 2nd in the Great Hall in Memorial Union. The doors open at 8:00 p.m., but I hope to see you there earlier to be front and center for this great indie show.