Beta Love


Beta Love is an eccentric marriage of styles coexisting harmoniously, against the odds. This Syracuse quartet has moved from broody indie chamber-pop toward vibrant synth-pop, and the jolt that comes from the opening notes signifies more than just the newfound prominence of keyboards: It’s a complete reevaluation of their songwriting. This restructuring could be attributed to the departure of cellist Alexandra Lawn and consequent role change for the remaining violin. Shades of the group’s string-rich arrangements remain, set against click beats, but now, the violin works best in lively bursts, contrasting the effervescent synths. Singer Wes Miles, meanwhile, proved his falsetto’s mettle on 2010’s The Orchard—but here, he makes a dizzying, disco-diva impact, particularly on the frantic chorus of “Dance With Me.” Though Ra Ra Riot hasn’t abandoned themes of deep feelings, Beta Love is almost universally upbeat, each song joyful, regardless of lyrical content. –Amanda Farah

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