Published Jan 21, 2013Beta Love is Ra Ra Riot's third full-length, and it finds the Upstate New York band shifting away from their usual chamber pop sound. The record drops tomorrow (January 22) through Arts & Crafts, and you can stream the whole thing at Exclaim.ca.
The disc was recorded with Dennis Herring (Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse, Wavves) at Sweet Tea Studios in Oxford, MS. The band didn't have a full-time drummer at the time, so session man Josh Freese (Devo, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer) was behind the kit.
The album finds Ra Ra Riot delving into catchy, sugar-addled synth-pop. Opener "Dance with Me" makes good on its title with four-on-the-floor beats, surging bass and reggae-inflected guitar chords, while bangers like "Beta Love" and "I Shut Off" are similarly designed to get you moving.
Non-musical influences include futurist Ray Kurzweil and cyberpunk author William Gibson. Bassist Mathieu Santos explained in a statement, "Recording the record was a lot of fun for us, because we were in a completely different environment, trying a completely new approach. We'd been used to arriving at a session with every song totally arranged and figured out, 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, a lot of problem solving, a lot of trial and error, and that was really exciting for us."
Listen below and peruse the band's upcoming tour schedule here.
UPDATE: This stream was available for one week only and is no longer available.