With ‘Need Your Light,’ Ra Ra Riot Continues Their Electronic Arc: BUST Review

by Madeline Raynor

Ra Ra Riot’s fourth album, Need Your Light, is an excellent addition to the group’s solid discography. The Syracuse-based band continues to produce albums that expand their indie electro-rock sound without changing it into something unrecognizable.

Lead singer Wes Miles has one of the most pleasing indie rock voices of the decade, up there with Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend. He possesses a gorgeous tenor voice and a falsetto to be reckoned with. The single “Water,” featuring Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend, is the album’s best track, telling the story of an exhausted worker finally getting off the night shift: “So I crawled out of the back door/Took off all these tight clothes/Jumped into the water.”

“Bad Times” is an energetic rock track that makes you want to sing along to the title phrase as Miles cries it out. “Every Time I’m Ready to Hug” brings to mind a retro California beach party. The alluring synth melody and the rumbling bass channel the Go-Go’s’ “Our Lips Are Sealed,” and the synthetic claps and back-up chorus of “oohs” evoke the surf rock of The Beach Boys.

The track “Foreign Lovers” is as smooth as its subject matter, kicking off with a raging drum beat that only relents during the chorus, a spotlight for Miles’s tenor. Miles shows his range in the title track “I Need Your Light,” in which he goes from belting the chorus to tenderly crooning the song’s softest moments. It’s a perfect encapsulation of the range of this fantastic band. Need Your Light is out 2/19.

Image Via Facebook/Ra Ra Riot

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