Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Song by Ra Ra Riot, "Water" (New Album Out February 19)

Ra Ra Riot (Photo credit: Shervin Lainez)
There is something so immediate about Wes Miles' voice, pure and sweetly sincere. I could identify it instantly this week as a new song "Water" was released ahead of his band Ra Ra Riot's fourth full length, Need Your Light (due February 19 from Barsuk Records.) This track is a collaboration with Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, a musical compatriot in the band Discovery from 2005 to 2009 (with one self-titleld EP). The story goes that Miles was staying with Rostam last January and they simply started writing again. Rostam has stated that he felt that the live quality of Miles' singing hadn't quite been captured on record, so he took on producer duties as well. 

Take a listen to "Water" via the lyric video, and see how nicely the vocals are isolated in order to spotlight Miles' endearing qualities in song, all while rhythmic beats and swirling synths surround him.  Rostam also serves as producer of record for another tune in the new collection, "I Need Your Light." After the last album, 2013's Beta Love, Miles had planned to take more of a break but after a few months he says "the inspiration came very quickly." I'm still aglow from catching the band on tour in support of Beta Love after interviewing Miles for PopMatters, witnessing the group's infectious energy and impressive musicianship from the front row. Thrilled to know there's more to come from one of my favorite bands of all time, and looking forward to hearing the whole thing in February!

Friday, November 6, 2015

New Song by Dr. Dog, "Badvertise" (NYC Tour Date March 18)

Dr. Dog with Pig Iron Theatre Co. (Photo via
Dr. Dog calls itself an indie psych-pop outfit, but really the most important thing is how the music resonates as pure raucous fun, whether played in the recording studio or at a community festival (when I caught the band during Greenwich Town Party in 2014). This group hails proudly from West Grove, PA outside of Philly and makes the most of its rock roots. However, the latest song "Badvertise" pulls out crazy energy in a synth-heavy blast (the song is available here and watch the video below or over on YouTube). It's a result of a collaboration back in September between Dr. Dog and the Pig Iron Theatre Co. called SWAMP IS ON. As directed by Ilan Bachracht and Jost Higgason, the visuals in the video bleed into one trippy infomercial of wacky commercialism.

The band will heading out on tour with a date at Terminal 5 on March 18, make plans now!