Music News

Ra Ra Riot: The Orchard

Artist: Ra Ra Riot

Title: The Orchard
Release date: August 24
Label: Barsuk

If you like Vampire Weekend, you'll probably like Ra Ra Riot, a prim-and-proper chamber pop band that sounds more suited to a country club function than a night out at the rock club.

These guys are vaguely danceable and indebted to fey '80s popsters like Culture Club and Kajagoogoo. Not that there's anything wrong with that. What's wrong with it, is that after nearly nine months of listening to the latest and greatest in indie rock, it's becoming increasingly difficult to the Ra Ra Riots of the world apart from the countless other cute and delicate indie-poppers that sound a whole lot like these guys and Vampire Weekending peers.

Ra Ra Riot - Boy

Best song: "You and I Know," in which they turn the lead vocals to a woman who sings better than the guy who does most of the singing.
Rotation: Low
Deja Vu: Vampire Weekend
I'd rather listen to: Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan's Hawk, which came out last week.
Grade: C-

"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

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Jay Bennett
Contact: Jay Bennett