Ra Ra Riot: “Boy”
There are many hyphenated iterations of the label “pop” used to describe the band Ra Ra Riot. Indie-pop, chamber-pop, baroque-pop are just a few. At the end of the day, though, they are simply a great pop band in all of its un-hyphenated glory.
The members of Ra Ra Riot met in college in Syracuse, N.Y., and formed the band in 2006. The sextet includes a small string section that is part of the bedrock of their sound. After a year of shows and a move to New York City, the band recorded their debut, self-titled EP. Just before the record’s release, drummer and founding member John Pike disappeared after a party in Rhode Island. He was found dead a few days later. The band carried on. They released their first full-length record The Rhumb Line in 2008 to a heap of national critical praise. The band retreated to a peach orchard in upstate New York to write and rehearse songs for their sophomore record aptly named The Orchard. The record was released in August last year, and its second track and lead single “Boy” is today’s song of the day.
“Boy” finds Ra Ra Riot with feet on the dance floor and heads in the clouds. Stomping drums and jittery bass lines drive the song. The band’s signature strings don’t exactly play second fiddle to the rhythm section, but they are less pronounced. They come in at around the minute mark, and their late entry ratchets up the emotional depth and adds wistfulness to an already great pop song.
You can see Ra Ra Riot this Saturday during Fun Fun Fun Fest at 4:45 p.m. on the Orange Stage