Music

Studio Session: Radiation City

OPB | Jan. 5, 2012 4 p.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 12:59 a.m.

Radiation City‘s debut The Hands That Take You first saw life on cassette. The band’s founders Lizzy Ellison and Cameron Spies released it on their own Apes Tapes label early last year before it was given wider distribution on CD and vinyl by Tender Loving Empire in September. The introduction to that for many of us was the gorgeous and impossibly catchy “The Color of Industry,” which seemed to fuse old-school soul and girl-group sounds with modern day indie pop. It was a shimmering and impossibly well-polished number from a record about which can be said much the same. Paying little attention to genre designations, the sound eventually touches upon everything from Astrud Gilberto to Low to the Beach Boys, with a bit of psychedelia thrown in for good measure. It’s a dreamy, summery, melodic collection—and a precocious beginning to be sure.

The Portland band joins as a quintet (Spies and Ellison joined by Randy Bemrose, Matt Rafferty and Patti King) to play a subtly intense set of songs from the debut. They also talk about their formation, the rationale behind an all-cassette label, and the unexpected success of the past year.

Watch and listen to the full opbmusic session

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