Regina, Saskatchewan indie rock band Rah Rah started off in the spirit of their Canadian forebears, Neil Young and Arcade Fire, performing sweeping, heart-on-the-sleeve indie folk.
The band was formed by original members Erin Passmore (drums/keyboard/bass) and Marshall Burns (guitar), who shared main vocal duties, while Joel Passmore (bass), Jeffrey Romanyk (drums/keyboard/guitar), Vanessa Benson (keyboard/bass), and Kristina Hedlund (violin/accordion/keyboard) rounded out the group. The original lineup released an EP in 2006 (Songs for Pasquala), which was followed by their late-2008 debut LP, Going Steady, and follow-up, 2010's Breaking Hearts. The combination of soaring harmonies, rousing energy, and male-female vocal interplay was reminiscent of Arcade Fire and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, while hints of synth pop shimmered through. This attention to the beats became apparent when they released a free remix album in 2011, appropriately titled Rahmixes. The band signed with Canadian label Hidden Pony in 2012 and released The Poet's Dead, which was produced by Gus Van Go and Werner F (the Stills, Hollerado, Priestess) and long-listed for Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize (which ended up going to Godspeed You! Black Emperor). In September 2015 Rah Rah released Vessels, the most realized culmination of their different styles yet, a polished combination of arena-ready indie rock and slinky synth pop. ~ Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi