The Raffaellas

22 May 2013

Richmond, Melbourne


It always starts with hearing a demo; a particular sound, a lyric, an instrument – a moment that grabs your attention and makes you feel something.  About a year ago, The Raffaellas and Large Noises got talking after we heard an early demo of their song, ‘Hands’.

For me, it was an instant intrigue by singer Pat Santamaria’s interesting vocals.  From deep and melodic, to raspy and passionate, ‘Hands’ takes the listener to all sorts of different places and back within a few minutes.  And a few more minutes if you choose to listen again, which I have continuously done since that day.

In an intimate filming session, with an audience of Large Noises crew and respective passers by, we filmed the likes of Ali Barter, Vance Joy and The Raffaellas on the same day.  Placed in front of a big red wall, the four-piece belted out their catchy tune for us to capture the live moment.  We were lucky enough to witness a stripped back, acoustic version of ‘Hands’; barefoot and all.

The Melbourne based band consists of Pat Santamaria (Vocals, Guitar), Doug Ross (Lead Guitar), James Raimondo (Bass) and Michael Ratten (Drums).  From socialising to playing music together, it’s an obvious collaborative energy the band shares – complimenting one another to produce a unique sound.

This sound might come from the range of influences within the band, from 80’s synth pop, classical guitar, country, blues, jazz and punk.  Each member brings with them a variety of musical influences, rounded with Pat Santamaria’s upper-register throaty vocals to create a genre of itself.

Lyrically, the songwriting is based around reflective themes of human interaction, relationships, the simple pleasures in life and clever wording.  The band recently supported Jinja Safari’s sold out show at The Toff in Town, as they kicked off their Australian tour.  It’s just the beginning for The Raffaellas, with the aim to get their tunes heard Australia wide before embarking on a bigger journey.

There’s always a moment in a song, for me it’s at 3:33.  It’s the feeling and passion as the band sing the catchy lyrics, “Don’t ask me, I can’t see what’s in front of my hands!”

The Raffaellas EP will be due out in the coming months.  You can keep up to date with their music at triple j Unearthed, their Facebook page and their Bandcamp.

Words by Charlotte Abroms.