ABOVE: RA RA RIOT. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHERVIN LAINEZ.
Following 2013’s Beta Love, Ra Ra Riot is preparing to release its fourth full-length Need Your Light. Overall the album expands upon the band’s well-known synth pop sound, although when considering each individual track, the Brooklyn-based quintet took a more modular approach. Working with four producers, Wes Miles, Mathieu Santos, Mile Bonacci, Rebecca Zeller, and Kenny Bernard wrote and recorded the resulting 10 songs in at least six different locations. The track “Foreign Lovers,” which we are pleased to premiere below, was largely written before Ra Ra Ra Riot even existed.
“‘Foreign Lovers’ fits in both extremes of this process as one of the oldest ‘ideas’ we’ve ever worked on, but with a completely new direction and energy,” Miles explains. “I wrote most of this song around 2004-2005. It was in the midst of my Elvis Costello phase, and felt a lot more like that at the time.” The vocalist kept the song in the back of his mind until demoing for Beta Love, when he created the organ solo now heard in the bridge of the song. “Milo reworked it into more of its current form with a half-time chorus in July of 2014, which breathed a whole new life into the song,” Miles continues. “We finished and tracked most of it at Bear Creek with Ryan Hadlock.”
Having written the song during his teenage years, Miles recalls having a youthful excitement about the world and yearning to see it all. The excitement is reflected in the song’s ebullient melodies and lyrics. So while it may stray from its original Elvis Costello inflections, as Miles says, “The great thing about finishing a song a decade after you started it is that it’s like opening up a time capsule and stuffing a bunch of new things into it.”
NEED YOUR LIGHT WILL BE RELEASED FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19. FOR MORE ON RA RA RIOT, VISIT THE BAND’S WEBSITE.