Need Your Light
Label: Barsuk Records
Ra Ra Riot's winsome indie pop reaches a sunny apex on their fourth album. The mood is mellow-to-blissful: The lead track, "Water," is literally about diving in and there are songs called "Every Time I'm Ready to Hug" (an infectious, handclap-studded ode to puppy love), "Bouncy Castle" (a trippy peak that highlights the album’s Beatles influence). Even "Bad Times" and "Instant Breakup" are peppy enough for slap bass and twinkling, synth-powered choruses. The band's sugary magical-mystery pop doesn't have the dark riptide of peers Passion Pit, but their New Wave-inflected melodies can be more agile; the intricate closer "Suckers" ranks among the highlights.