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MKE Music Premiere: Ravi/Lola get the facts straight on ‘The Journalist’

Nick Wieczorkowski

Every week, Milwaukee Music Premiere connects the city’s artists with our listening audience. If you’re an artist with a track you’d like us to debut exclusively on Radio Milwaukee, head over to our Music Submission page to learn how.

As a former-former journalist, I’m always interested in music about the folks who report the news. The topic doesn’t provide fertile songwriting ground like, say, dogs or breakups, but there are more than you think — from Joe Jackson’s scathing “Sunday Papers” to Ben Folds’ melancholy “Fred Jones, Pt. 2.”

Continuing that tradition, Milwaukee psych-pop group Ravi/Lola delivers the title track off an entire album about journalism, fittingly titled The Journalist. In an intriguing note, the band explains that the song “serves as an introduction to what the album is about: the journalist, his actions and the town's feelings about his work. The story continues to unfold throughout the album as the town decides his fate.”

We’ll have to wait and see whether that outcome involves clapping him in the stocks or just canceling their subscriptions, but for now we have a trippy single that sets the scene. The trio of Casey Seymour, Nick Wieczorkowski and Anton Sieger are joined on the track by Ryan Miracle, whose pedal steel plays a prominent role while the lyrics succinctly capture the essence of journalism:

But one professional stays up all night long
It's the journalist
Waiting for little stories to tell
Ones he thinks that will sell

All in town they read the drab
Some do not like the coverage
Accused him of mediocrity
Writing for the sake of feeding his kids

I assume subsequent tracks will delve into things like writing for search engine optimization and social-media threats, although this might be more of a throwback situation (while listening to this lead single, my brain immediately went to “Paperback Writer”).

We’ll find out soon enough, as the full-length album is set for release next Friday, May 31, on digital platforms. The following night, Ravi/Lola will celebrate with a show at Linneman’s that also includes Spidora and Dialogues. Until then, enjoy “The Journalist” using the player at the top of this page and on the 88Nine airwaves throughout today (7:30 and 11:30 a.m.; 3:30, 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.).