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Listen to Syracuse-Bred Indie Pop Rockers Ra Ra Riot's #TBT Mixtape
Welcome to #TBT Mixtape, Billboard's series that showcases artists' very own throwback-themed playlists exclusive to Billboard's Spotify account. The curated set features the artists' favorite tracks from their youth and childhood.
This week's spin comes from Ra Ra Riot. The Syracuse-bred indie pop rockers -- comprised of Wes Miles (vocals), Mathieu Santos (bass), Milo Bonacci (guitar), Rebecca Zeller (violinist), and Kenny Bernard (drummer) -- formed back in 2006, quickly inking a deal with indie titan Barsuk Records (Nada Surf, Phantogram), followed by the release of their debut album, 2008's The Rhumb Line. The group revisited the LP on its 10th anniversary this summer with a sold-out underplay tour in select U.S. markets as well as the release of a special anniversary edition of the album, including demos and live performances of the tracks.
Throughout their lengthy tenure, the rockers have worked with a robust crop of indie heavy weight producers including Andrew Maury (RAC), Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla and Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij on 2010's The Orchard, Dennis Herring (The Hives, Modest Mouse) on 2013's Beta Love and Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Vance Joy) -- and Batmanglij again -- on 2016's Need Your Light. The latter included the band's biggest hit to date with the Rostam collaboration "Water," which has netted more than 75 million streams globally.
After dropping their latest single "This Time of Year" this October, produced by Kieran Menzies and Dean Reid (Lana Del Rey, Kesha, Dua Lipa), the group is feeling nostalgic on this week's #TBT Mixtape, curated by frontman Wes Miles and featuring cuts by The Sugarcubes, Brian Eno, T. Rex and more.
"This is very roughly in autobiographical order with some major concessions to flow and bad memory," Miles says. "Basically it starts in my early youth listening to oldies and 80's pop radio, then moving on through various segues to British folk rock, to some glam, to my healthy punk phase. Everything in the last two-thirds I listened to a lot in high school. It ends with some British guitar pop, including a certain Xmas fave because, well, 'tis the season. Enjoy!"
Give the eclectic set a spin and also check out some retro snaps of the rockers below.