Ra Ra Riot reinvent themselves with their new single, "Beta Love," whose dance-pop bent is fueled by the egress of cellist Alexandra Lawn. The freshly pared down four-piece swaps its heady strings for corporeal synth, positioning the Syracuse crew for commercial breakthrough once again. "Beta Love" hails from an upcoming album of the same name (track list below), due out January 22 via Barsuk and recorded in Oxford, Mississippi, with producer Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello, Wavves). SPIN visited Ra Ra Riot in the studio back in May.
"We’d been used to arriving at a session with every song totally arranged and figured out," bassist Mathieu Santos said in a statement, "but in Oxford, a lot of the creative decision-making happened in the studio, on the fly. We wanted to be outside of our collective comfort zone for this record. We wanted to be open to new things happening. There was a lot of building up and tearing down with Dennis — a lot of problem solving, a lot of trial and error."
So far, the process seems to have worked. "Beta Love" premiered today via NPR's "All Songs Considered," who described it as "an agreeably frothy trifle." That's high praise ... we guess. Lyrically, the album will be informed by cyperpunk novelist William Gibson and futurist Ray Kurzweil, which seems fitting of the band's new digi-friendly sound. Check out the new song, the Beta Love lineup, and Ra Ra Riot's upcoming dates (including shows with Vampire Weekend, Nigel Godrich's Ultraista, Passion Pit, Guards, and Joy Formidable) below.
Ra Ra Riot's Beta Love track list:
1. "Dance with Me"
2. "Binary Mind"
3. "Beta Love"
4. "Is It Too Much"
5. "For Once"
6. "Angel, Please"
7. "What I Do For U"
8. "When I Dream"
9. "That Much"
11. "I Shut Off"
Ra Ra Riot tour dates:
November 14 - Syracuse, NY @ Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse University
November 28 - Providence, RI @ Lupo’s *
November 29 - Philadelphia, PA @ Liacouras Center †
December 8 - Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon ‡
December 9 - Hartford, CT @ Arch Street Tavern ‡
December 11 - Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall ‡
December 12 - Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place ‡
December 13 - Ithaca, NY @ Haunt ‡
January 23 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
January 25 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall
January 26- Boston, MA @ Paradise
February 2-3 - Tokyo, Japan @Hostess Club Weekender §
February 7- Vancouver, BC @ Venue
February 8 - Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theater
February 9 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
February 11 - San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore
February 12 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey
February 15 - Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up
February 16 - Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
February 17 - El Paso, AZ @ Lowbrow Palace
February 19 - Dallas, TX @ Kessler Theater
February 20 - Austin, TX @ The Belmont
February 21 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
February 23 - Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s
February 24 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
February 25 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
February 26 - Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
February 28 - Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
March 1 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
March 2 - Madison, WI @ Der Rathskeller
March 3 - Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
March 5 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig
March 6 - Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
March 7 - Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
March 8 - S. Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
March 9 - Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street
* with Passion Pit and Joy Formidable
† with Passion Pit
‡ with Guards
§ with Vampire Weekend & Ultraista