Music For Moods: RKCB

Photo Courtesy of Madeline Simko

Author: Bridget Benevides

My eyes are blue which means that when I cry, my eyes light up– against the perfectly particular pattern of red blood vessel rivers, the blue stands out.

When it rains, the red taillights of cars cause the puddles in the street to catch on fire, to dance, adding color to the gray street under the gray sky.

I have been thinking about movement.

As the sun sets behind the ashen mountains, the red hues land softly on my exposed skin in a dynamic embrace, a goodnight kiss.

I have been thinking about love.

I have been thinking about pain and thinking about nature. I have been thinking about time and thinking about power. I have been thinking about red.I have been feeling red.

When thinking about the color that matched my mood this month, I found myself torn, unable to pinpoint exactly what it was. When I first think of red, I am quick to jump to anger, picturing a cartoon with a bright red face and steam coming out of their ears. However, the more I think about red, the more I associate with it. Red is energetic, red is lonely, red is headstrong, red is nervous. So, I am feeling a bit red, and RKCB is the perfect soundtrack for everything red brings.

RKCB is the duo of Riley Knapp and Casey Barth. They are from Los Angeles, California, and met when they were in college at University of Southern California where they started playing music together. Their music is a little electronic, a little R&B and a little pop. It is strength and it is softness—they are an eclectic artist for every playlist under the sun.

Knapp and Barth, both wearing short sleeve, button- up, collared shirts, gazing to points off camera. Red background.
Photo by Alex Stoddard, courtesy of @RKCBmusic on Facebook.

RKCB released their first EP, Short Films, in 2015, and since then have released three more EPs. They regularly put out singles, their most popular (and one of my all-time favorites) being their song “Naïve”. RKCB has been featured on many other records including Louis Futon and Ariana & the Rose.

My favorite song of theirs is “31/ 10” . I first heard this song during the 2019 Seattle snowstorm. Walking outside the city seemed to be holding its breath. To this day, that song brings me peace and calms me down. Then there are songs like “Vice” that I could turn on when I need some confidence, motivation or am in the mood for something loud. “Till We’re in the Sea” is a sunny day love song, an inevitable smile. RKCB is there for me on every level, for every emotion. I am in awe at their ability to create such vibrant and moving music.

Cover art of RKCB’s four Eps.
Image courtesy of @RKCBmusic on Facebook.

Too often our bodies are in a fight or flight state, with the sympathetic nervous system activated and pumping hormones into the bloodstream. While this response can be beneficial in some instances, a prolonged increased in stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline in the blood can take a toll on the body and mind. Listening to music lowers the levels of cortisol in our brains. This means that the calm euphoria you experience when you listen to your favorite artist is physiological and beneficial to fighting stress and anxiety.

RKCB’s music is a breath of fresh air amidst any stress or anxiety. Again and again, their music brings up emotions, makes me think, and allows me to reflect. The more I listen, the more I hear. It makes ordinary moments beautiful; and it makes me want to chase these moments.

It makes the red burn brighter.

The duo that is RKCB preforms on stage, back lit by red lights arranged in horizontal lines. Members of the crowd have their hands up.
Image courtesy of @RKCBmusic on Facebook.

Music For Moods is my monthly column that will explore the relationship between my moods and the music I am craving when I am feeling some sort of way. Each month I hope to tie in some science, in an attempt to learn and educate (because I find this type of thing fascinating.)

This month I am feeling red and welcoming everything that entails. I have been thinking about love, nature and honesty, and I have been listening to RKCB.

What color are you?

Bridget Benevides | “Leave tour ghost Next to mine” | KXSU Music Reporter

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