The charming alternapop outfit Ra Ra Riot, who headlined the inaugural Gasparilla Music Festival in 2012 and is known for putting on high energy and epic shows, comes to Tropical Heatwave with critical acclaim for their 2016 release. Need Your Light, their fourth full-length album, is the sound of a band being reinvigorated by their own existence. Correspondingly, the album sees the band — Wes Miles (vocals), Mathieu Santos (bass), Milo Bonacci (guitar), Rebecca Zeller (violin), and Kenny Bernard (drums) — getting back to their house party roots without abandoning the more heady soundscapes they explored with 2013’s Beta Love. The result is an album that’s celebratory without being solipsistic and that sees the group collectively mining their prior experiences in order to craft something that looks toward the future with an optimistic gaze.
Harpers Bazzar recently included Need Your Light in their “10 Albums You Need To Listen To In February,” saying “the singles from Light don’t stray from the band’s fun indie vibe, especially ‘Absolutely,’ which the band fittingly released on New Year’s Day. ‘It’s the year of absolutely being, absolutely nothing, absolutely crushing,’ they sing. WNYC pegged “Absolutely’ as an “undeniable bit of synthpop” and Stereogum labeled it “ebullient.”