Ra Ra Riot tours for ‘The Orchard’

by Courtney Rogin

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courtesy of doron guild

courtesy of doron guild

Known for its live shows and powerful albums, Ra Ra Riot has hit the road this fall for a U.S. tour. The band has secured itself in the indie rock genre with its unique use of orchestral elements in its music. Formed in 2006 at Syracuse University, the band is composed of members Wes Miles, Mathieu Santos, Milo Bonacci, Alexandra Lawn, Rebecca Zeller and Gabe Duquette. The band gained attention after a performance at the College Music Journal music marathon the year of its formation and has since toured with bands such as Editors and Art Brut. After being signed to Barsuk Records in 2008, the group released its debut album “The Rhumb Line” to critical review.

Ra Ra Riot returned last year to release its most current album “The Orchard.” The album opens with the mystical, classically influenced title track, making brilliant use of the cellist and violinist in the band. It moves into a more upbeat use of their talents with tracks “Boy” and “Too Dramatic,” with Wes Miles’ engulfing vocals in the air.

The album is a powerful classic of its musical generation, an alliance of classical stringed instruments and electronic synth beats. The standout track of the album is “Too Dramatic,” the most radio-ready song of the album. “The Orchard” also deserves a mention, which allows for string players Lawn and Zeller to sparkle.

“The Orchard” is one of the few albums that tells a story from beginning to end. The album can be listened to in parts and track-by-track, but it is recommended at least once to start with the first track, “The Orchard,” and let the album flow through its precious and formidable story to end with “Keep It Quiet,” letting the 10 tracks linger after they end.

Ra Ra Riot is currently on tour and will be stopping in San Diego at Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach on Wednesday. Delicate Steve and Yellow Ostrich will be supporting. Tickets are available now and are $18. Doors open at 9 p.m.

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