Ray & Remora / Startle it Up (2016)
“It’s smart, evocative dream-pop that at times recalls the likes of Camera Obscura, Saint Etienne, (certain periods of) Yo La Tengo and, on the opening track “The Happening,” Belle & Sebastian…File under: New indie-pop sophisticates.”
— BuzzBandsLA (Kevin Bronson).
“Synths wave and whizz, offset only by a lone guitar line which weaves itself through like a bolt of lightning. It could be where pop’s headed next” —Consequence of Sound (Michelle Geslani).
Ray & Remora / 1994 (2014)
“If you don’t like Pavement, Ray & Remora may make you like Pavement.”
The Los Angeles-based band Ray & Remora emerged in the spring of 2014 with their EP 1994, featuring six synthedelic covers of indie rock gems that originally came out twenty years prior. Startle it Up, their full-length debut of 11 original tracks, will be released on September 16, 2016 on Aeronaut Records.
Startle it Up drifts from synth-driven epic ballads to head-bopping indie pop, all the while highlighting 23-year old Remora’s lush, emotive vocals. Comparisons have been made to bands like Florence & the Machine, Ms Mr and HAIM, though the songwriting is still rooted in the influences covered on 1994—bands like Guided By Voices, Pavement, and Sebadoh.
The band began when Ray (Dan Crane of Nous Non Plus, Calamine) met Remora (Amanda Walker of Glen Parks) at a show in Echo Park and the two started talking about music. Ray suggested they record a cover together, and the first track they selected was “Like a Fool” by Superchunk. This spawned the concept of an EP of covers from the year that Superchunk’s album Foolish was released—1994.
1994 was picked up by Spin, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, BuzzBands LA, Brightest Young Things, and elsewhere. Of their “Gold Soundz” cover, Spin wrote: “Ray & Remora’s ‘Gold Soundz’ transforms Pavement’s punk-folk classic into a catchy indie-pop track, perfect for a spot on a beloved summer picnic/BBQ playlist.” The video for Gold Soundz featured cameos by Kim Gordon, Jeff Goldblum and the song’s originator, Stephen Malkmus.
Since the EP, the band added keyboardist Jeff Liffmann and drummer Damon Kellard who shared co-writing duties and helped shape the 11 songs on Startle it Up. They tracked Startle it Up with Jon Joseph (Børns). Mixing was done by Bryan Cook, who also mixed the 1994 EP.