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Artists and Bands

‘I just wanted to distill and distill until there was almost nothing left’: Ra Ra Riot’s Mathieu Santos on his solo LP

Mathieu Santos’s new album, Massachusetts 2010, is a ten-song debut LP for the Brooklyn-based composer. One of the founding members and bass player in the chamber pop quintet Ra Ra Riot, he takes a step away from this style to explore more stripped down, sonorous landscapes in an album written, composed and played almost solely by himself.

Here, Mathieu gets candid and offers some interesting insight into the creative process that shaped his album, how the songs originated and why “the treatment of just one distilled idea” is so important for his songwriting style.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Mathieu Santos “Massachusetts 2010”

Massachusetts 2010 is Mathieu Santos’s – Ra Ra Riot’s bass player – first solo LP. This album is an effort in an original direction, playing with the idea of sonorous landscapes in an indie rock setting. He accomplishes this by setting very precise moods in each song, and by making the growth of the song more centered on the development of this mood rather than on drastic musical changes. This effect is realized mostly through the lyrical and musical structure of the songs with importance given to tones and how things sound. 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Okkervil River “I Am Very Far”

I Am Very Far, Okkervil River’s sixth album, is not what one would expect from them; a band renowned for their concept albums and lo-fi recordings. Instead, they present us a collection of well-produced, meticulously arranged songs that are less part of a bigger concept as they are individual works of art.

Although certain leitmotifs like imagery attached to throats, sea-land metaphors and, surprisingly, sleigh bells reappear throughout the album, the songs are very varied in style and dynamic. Even if the lack of concept is surprising, it does not take away from the album, other than a few instances where the transitions between songs seem a little jagged.