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First Watch: Ra Ra Riot, 'Binary Mind'

Syracuse-based rock group Ra Ra Riot's latest album, Beta Love, is steeped heavily in science fiction and futurist theories, with tales of robots, lives stranded in space and, on the song "Binary Mind," the merging of computers and human brains. In a new video for the track, the band members' disembodied heads playfully float and bob in a kaleidoscopic, digital landscape.

Ra Ra Riot frontman Wes Miles says "Binary Mind" was one of the first cuts written for Beta Love and helped shape the entire album. "It's written from the perspective of a fictionalized version of futurist Ray Kurzweil," Miles tells us via email. "In the song, he longs for his deceased father, and is wishing to survive to the point when he can merge with a computer and become immortal by essentially uploading his consciousness into the Internet. But more importantly, he wants to recreate an avatar of his father whom he misses immensely. He is battling with time and his own deteriorating body which eventually he hopes he will cast away."

Director Cole Hannan took a slightly different approach with the video for "Binary Mind." For textures, Hannan used still photos he took of places and objects while walking around New York City. He then shot video of the band members singing while wearing green screen bibs to isolate their heads. "I started thinking about the concept of singularity," he says in a note. "I ended up wanting to make a story about a planet being created, life on that planet popping up, that life assimilating with computers, and that new human-computer hybrid being able to, in a sense, meet it's maker."

Ra Ra Riot'sBeta Love is out now on Barsuk Records.

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Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.