Combining indie rock with chamber pop flourishes (courtesy of a small string section), Ra Ra Riot formed while the band's six members were attending college in Syracuse, New York. Milo Bonacci (guitar), Alexandra Lawn (cello), Wesley Miles (keyboard/vocals), John Pike (drums), Mathieu Santos (bass), and Rebecca Zeller (violin) first came together in January 2006, creating an eclectic sound that allowed them to play alongside the Horrors, Bow Wow Wow, and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin within a year of the band's formation. After pulling up stakes and relocating to New York City, the band recorded a self-titled EP and prepared to release it during the summer of 2007. That June, however, Pike died after disappearing one night from a party in Fairhaven, Rhode Island. His body was later found in nearby Buzzard's Bay. Several weeks later, the mourning bandmates issued a statement confirming their continuation as a band.