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February 25, 2021

The Bright Lights of the City

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 24 February, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 24 February, 2021

Eve Jeffery

Some albums can be years in the making. Although City Riots have been around for a few years now, and have one EP (Matchsticks) under their belt, the process of creating the album was quite the contrary. Sea Of Bright Lights was written and recorded in less than six months and marks the start of a new phase for the band.

City Riots are Ricky Kradolfer (vocals, guitar), Matthew Edge (guitar, vocals), Matthew Stadler (bass) and Dan Kradolfer (drums) and are launching their new album Sea Of Bright Lights in a 10-stop east-coast tour. We caught up with singer Ricky Kradolfer as he heads out on the road for the band’s tour and the Beachy gig on Thursday.

Ricky says he hopes the album, self-described as pop songs hidden in layers of reverb and layered guitars, becomes everyone’s soundtrack for this summer. ‘The band’s “new” sound marks a turning point in our maturing as songwriters – as musicians,’ says Ricky. ‘It has unique qualities that make us sound like City Riots rather then just another band that sounds like 100 others.’

The band came up with forty songs last summer, which they devoted to writing and experimenting with different sound palettes. ‘It got quite addictive being so creative and writing so many songs. I love writing new songs. It’s one of the best things about being in a band, so it all happened quite easily and naturally.’

How did you manage to cull almost 40 tracks down to eleven ? 

We chose the 11 that we felt would create a continuity and a flow that would be consistent across the tracks, to make what we felt would be a really strong album, rather then just thinking about singles and making other songs to fit around them.

Are the other tracks fodder for another album on top of this one ?

I’m yet to decide what I’ll do with some of the other tracks. Maybe I’ll use it for my side project.

Who wrote most of the material?

Edgy wrote three – Turn, Pirates and In this Space. Together we co-wrote Lonely Hearts and Sucker Punch. I wrote the rest.

Is Sea of Bright Lights a departure from the Matchsticks EP ?

We look at Matchsticks EP as more of a stepping stone that brought us to Sea Of Bright Lights. The Matchsticks EP was the first time we worked with Woody, whom we did the album with, and it allowed us to discover certain guitar tones, effects and vocal qualities that we then went on to develop during the making of the album.

The band has a huge following in Adelaide but after this tour you can bet the they will have a cache or new fans. Rick says that the process of recording and releasing the album has been a recent highlight as was supporting The Living End on their Retrospective tour, which is currently flooring audiences across the country.


What are you working on now?

The set list for the Adelaide show. I think we might bring back some older tracks to mix in with the new ones for this Saturday night.


What’s next ?

Coming up to Byron Bay and the Gold coast! We’ve only played in Byron once, supporting British India at the Great Northern, and it was an insanely good show, so we can’t wait to get back to Byron.


Who are you listening to now ?

We’re currently driving from Melbourne to Adelaide. There are so many roadworks. This is Shit. We’re cranking Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run album in the van right now!

‘Baby we were born to ruuuunnnn!’



Get your own taste of Ricky and the City Riots at the Beach Hotel on Thursday with The Lions Children from 9pm.





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