Ra Ra Riot is known as indie pop’s most whimsical band, mixing infectious choruses with sweeping instrumentals. The energy and happiness that comes out of their music is contagious.
With their cover of ’70s favorite Sparks’ “Saccharin and the War” off of their 1972 album Halfnelson, Ra Ra Riot pays homage to the quirky alternative bands that paved the way for their music. Sparks, known for stage theatrics and for incorporating disparate influences into their own bright pop songs, is an obvious inspiration for the band, who have pioneered a fusion of classical instruments (cello and violin) in modern indie pop.
The cover is impressively close to the original, offering a more polished take on the song and the haunting and soaring voice of lead singer Wesley Miles. The band also incorporates the hidden sadness of the song, with lyrics like “She read the book, the golden book / It seems another man had come across the cross.” Bassist Mathieu Santos keeps the beat constant by hitting the tambourine with his foot.
Originally released last year on their Too Dramatic EP, this version comes courtesy of a recent Laundromatinee session. Check it out below.
Ra Ra Riot – Saccharin and the War (Sparks cover)
For more information on Ra Ra Riot, go to their website.