Monday, December 5, 2011
Ra Ra Riot Are In The Orchard
Ra Ra Riot’s last album, The Rhumb Line, was one of my favorite albums of 2008 and despite having heaps of hype on top of them; they came through with a fine album of arty indie chamber pop. After two years away from the studio and spending time on the road with a whole host of famous people the band have returned with yet another impressive record that melds the worlds of chamber pop with proper pop.
Recorded in a peach orchard in upstate New York,The Orchard is an earnest heartfelt record that literally sweeps you off your feet with airy rhythms, strings, and almost melancholic vocals. As slightly depressing as that sounds, it actually isn’t; this is a record whose beauty lies in the literate tension that the band creates. The songs that make up The Orchard are expressive and melodic and seem incredibly fragile at times. The arrangements and emotional tension that each song contains threatens to tear it apart at the seams and yet somehow Ra Ra Riot manage to hold it all together.
The Orchard is not radio friendly fare, rather, it is contemplative introspective music that will tug at your heart and make your brain work over time. This is a record that is personal, poignant and persistent at getting you to pay attention. And really why wouldn’t you? This is arty chamber pop the way arty chamber pop should be played…with stirring string laden songs that are subtly thrilling. You might not latch on to The Orchard right away, but repeated listens will only allow these songs to grow on you and slowly take over your soul. The Orchard is the sound of a band coming into their prime and hints at a bright future of this artfully intriguing band.