City Riots Syndicate Media Letter

It’s the sound where the poetry is found: hypnotic and pretty” – Rolling Stone Australia 

Choruses that sneak their way into your subconscious until you’re humming them along involuntarily – 4.5/5” – Sputnik Music 

“It was more important for us to make songs that work as a cohesive album that a few big singles and B-sides” proclaims Ricky Kradolfer. As vocalist and guitarist for Australia’s City Riots, he speaks with pride on the Adelaide-based group’s recently released debut full-length, Sea Of Bright Lights. Indeed, it’s an album that marries jangly guitar hooks and dreamy reverbed pop with a sense of depth that metaphorically approaches the underside of the Great Barrier Reef. Upon its initial release in their homeland last year, the praise was almost unanimous among media. This includes snagging the title of “Best Local Release of 2012” by Radio Adelaide and world-focused media such as Sputnik Music proclaiming that the music possesses “choruses that sneak their way into your subconscious until you’re humming them along involuntarily.” 

With a vibrant live show and sunshine inflected sound, the band has been able to hold their own while touring. Some tour-mates on these jaunts include the legendary Smashing Pumpkins, indie rock notables Atlas Genius to even psychobilly punkers, The Living End. It has seen them branch out to the U.S. for appearances at recent editions of SXSW, CMJ, and Filter’s Culture Collide Festival.

The band has previously released two EPs (2008’s Socialize, and 2010’s Matchsticks), both of which were well received and boasted heavy airplay on Australia’s Triple J radio and kept the band busy touring across their home country for a majority of 2010 and 2011. In 2012, the band removed themselves from hometown distractions and retreated to a shack along the banks of the River Murray in South Australia, where the band wrote the bulk of Sea Of Bright Lights. The summer clime of their retreat is reflected throughout the songs they emerged with.

The group entered Red Door Sounds studio with Melbourne producer Paul “Woody” Annison (Children Collide, Hunting Grounds), who previously worked with them on the Matchsticks EP. “Working with Woody played a large part in helping us find our identifiable sound, going back to Matchsticks and up to now,” declares Ricky. “He truly understands us as individuals and as a band.” An example of City Riot’s growth can be heard in the album’s first two singles, “Wait For You” and “Catch The Sun,” which delve into the dreamy, reverb drenched textures that they have hinted towards previously whilst still maintaining enough jangly guitar elements that they had established earlier as a band. Both singles were accompanied by music videos, which picked up TV airtime across Australia.

Watch the official video for “Wait For You” here: 

Watch the official video for “Catch The Sun” here: 

An extension of Sea Of Bright Lights’ summer themes is its artwork, created by drummer (and Ricky’s brother) Dan Kradolfer. “We make sure that all of our artwork, even going back to the Matchsticks EP, captures an aesthetic that complements the washes of reverb and dreamy quality heard throughout our music,” explains Ricky.

At the core of City Riots is the brotherly bond that the Kradolfer’s share with their other band-mate, Matt Stadler (bass/vocals). Commenting on this bond, Ricky said “Being brothers allows for a sense of honesty between us. It eliminates any awkward tension that comes with telling a mate that the lyric he’s been working on isn’t quite right, although it didn’t make things any easier when telling our Mom that we had converted her formal dining room into a permanent rehearsal room.” An example of this is during the recording of the song “Lonely Hearts.” Ricky reveals “this was the first song we wrote while jamming as a whole band when writing for the album, which somewhat explains its exciting and youthful, straight up two guitars, bass, drums sound.” A video for “Lonely Hearts,” featuring a collection of live footage taken from City Riots’ recent tours, will be released shortly.

City Riots will soon be announcing dates for their return to North America, including performances during this fall’s CMJ Music Festival in New York.

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