Music | Sessions

Radiation City

opbmusic | Jan. 5, 2012 1 a.m. | Updated: Dec. 11, 2013 11:47 a.m.

Contributed By:

Jeremy Petersen

Part of Series:

Recording engineer: Steven Kray, with technical assistance from Randy Layton

Video production: Jarratt Taylor
Video shooters: Jarratt Taylor / Anthony DelCalzo / Lana Bui / Nate Sjol

Photos: David Christensen / Jeremy Petersen

Interview: Jeremy Petersen

Radiation City‘s debut The Hands That Take You first saw life on cassette, the band’s founders Lizzy Ellison and Cameron Spies releasing 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.

 

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