GENRE: Pop, Rock, Electronica, Singer/Songwriter, Fusions
INSTRUMENTS: Vocals, MIDI Keyboard, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Kaos Pad, Ukulele
Team Smile and Nod is an electro pop duo from Columbus, Ohio that formed in 2004. About a week after swapping demo CDs, Rich Ratvasky (artist-producer) surprised Kara Square (singer-songwriter) with a remix of one of her songs. Inspired by the remix, they merged their musical styles into an upbeat, melody-driven, politically-inspired fusion.
Their sound has been compared to Broken Bells, Bat For Lashes, Massive Attack, and Fever Ray. Look Both Ways Before You Die, their debut album, was released in November of 2008. Their follow-up album, Mourning Time, was released in March of 2011. They are currently working on their third album called "Dust from the Stars."
Rich Ratvasky builds a sonic layer of feeling with his electronic arrangements. He experiments with keyboards, vocals, guitars, and effects as half of Team Smile and Nod. He has been involved in bands and electronic music since his high school years. In the late ‘80s, he was in a band called Big Engine with Jeff Hindman (DJ Jeffee- Orlando, FL) and Steven Hindman (Lismore, The Golden Filter) that started as ‘60s psychedelic pop-rock and developed into electronic pop. He was also part of an industrial band called Lick. Rich performed at raves and clubs while part of Columbus’ underground electronic scene in the ‘90s (ele_mental collective). He has self-released a series of solo albums and has contributed to many compilations (arch_typ’s 21/22 Corporation) using the name Ihannoa. Rich has created remixes for The Azoic and Pinebox. “Ever” was released on The Azoic’s album re:illumination [the mixes] (2008). “…his remix of “Ever” is simply terrific! The style is a bit psy-trance like… creating some irresistible dance vibes.” Side-Line Music Magazine. Pinebox’s To Mirror The Whole (2012) features a track co-written by Rich called “Stardust Sensation.”
Kara Square creates the lyrics, vocals, sounds, and guitar parts for Team Smile and Nod. She founded Thinkroot Records in 2008 to release her collaborations and solo projects. Find out more about Kara Square.
Praise for Mourning Time:
“Team Smile and Nod exemplifies new artistry, born via remix culture. Rich and Kara originally connected via a remix, and Kara's expansive work at ccMixter led us to find her provoking productions with Rich. The album Mourning Time connected to those places in me that only grief can touch. The album uplifts through its quirky sincerity.”
Emily Richards, CEO of ArtisTech Media
"Mourning Time is a great addition to any collection, especially of those who grew up on synth-pop and gothic rock. For those who reminisce of the Modern Rock era, but enjoy a modern relevance, Team Smile and Nod is what you're looking for."
Steve Dustcircle, Columbus Music Review
Praise for Look Both Ways Before You Die:
“Over irresistibly bouncy beats, a sexy/smoky voice sagely ponders the big questions reminding us, sometimes subtly and sometimes quite specifically, that someday you and I and everyone will breathe our last. If dreams had soundtracks -- that is, the compelling kind of dream that keeps you thinking long after you arise -- Team Smile and Nod should be in the running to provide them.”
Anneli Rufus, author of Party of One, The Farewell Chronicles, and Stuck
"Their sound is sophisticated, playful, melodic and extremely engaging. By digesting the atmospheric layering and sonic textures of terrific emo-pop of the past, they have produced an emotionally compelling sound for the future that is distinctly their own.”
Jon Peterson, Host, "Shakin It" WCBE/Columbus