Ra Ra Riot :: "Beta Love"

Ra Ra Riot jag in a new direction on latest single "Beta Love", afraid and ebullient for the future of their band and their sound. Put another way, it's a long way from the strings-first rock songs they arranged at Syracuse. They played in basements before storming the New York rock scene in late 2006 with a set at Canal Room that offered a take on orchestral rock that put even Arcade Fire on notice. And then the band struggled to bring their intensity to the studio, to record accurately the ruckus from the stage. It never quite happened, save maybe on the bouncy, Honda-approved single, "Boy" from their 2010 LP. On "Beta Love," treble is the move. Buzzy keyboards strain against their outer markers and Wesley Miles, one of the best voices in indie rock, eventually ends up soaring almost into auto-tune and, finally, lands awash in layers upon layers of his own voice. The strings make their requisite appearance, a charming bit of the baroque in "this city of robot hearts" as Miles describes the hyper-modernity of "Beta Love." It is pretty and a little disturbing, smiling into the void, synths aimed at the sky and neon lighting what little we can see, the language and fear of the future in the same song.

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