Rat Wakes Red may sound like the name of a punk band belting out three-chord, angsty anthems, but this act is quite the opposite, and the haunting, charmed surprise is partly what makes RWR, and their latest release, Acres, stand out. Singer/songwriter James Raftery creates orchestral pop with everything from piano swells to strings and viola, all given a crystalline finish by producer Jeral Benjamin.  Voices, at the forefront, harmonize in blissed out states, backed with soothing lyricism that revels in its emotional core.  Songs like “Crying Chair” stand out with an upbeat tempo and edge that bursts unexpectedly from its neo-classical base, while single “Always”, with added vocals by Hannah Fury, is a poignant toast to taking chances. (Rat Disk)–Selina S.