I seem to be drawn to the South Florida music scene, because here I am reviewing my fifth Miami-based band in less than a year. I’ve previously featured SunGhosts, Above the Skyline, Dyslexic Postcards and Xotic Yeyo on this blog, and now I turn my spotlight on a couple of talented musicians who call themselves RAKER. Specifically, RAKER is Michael Sarasti and Andy Rodriguez, who play an intriguing style of experimental indie rock, and they cover all aspects of their music and its production. As stated in their Twitter bio, they “deal in guitars, pedals, machines, buttons, and songs.” Sarasti plays guitar and is lead vocalist and Rodriguez plays bass and provides backup harmonies on their songs.
The guys just dropped their gorgeous new single “Gospel” in late December 2016, and I was smitten the moment I heard it. The song immediately grabs hold with a mesmerizing guitar riff, accompanied by gentle percussion and smooth synths and set to a languid beat. Andy’s layered bass loops beautifully throughout, and Mike’s vocals are beguiling and heartfelt as he sings of trying to salvage a troubled relationship: “Oh baby don’t you waste no time. These are the trials that bind our kind. / Just when you think it’s all an end, we’re on the rise.” The instrumentals, vocals and arrangement are all first-rate, making for an incredibly pleasing, well-crafted song. Take a listen: