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Show Review

Radiation City describes their sound as "bossanova" meets 90s influences (like grunge), and it's an apt label-- this sound is different, and unique. It's been a while since we've we heard a band so successfully emulate the sound of obscure 60s pop. You'd have to start digging through your parents' record collection to find something similar, and even then, you'd have to apply a modern tint. If that genre combination makes you as excited as it did us, Radiation City are certainly worth your time. The band's clever build and release creates a tense and dynamic progression with an emphasis on the build so that the pay-offs are that much sweeter. There are some undertones of modern rock elements bubbling below the surface, but this is vintage and sorely-missed pop at its core. There won't be an actual album til this summer, but every leak of information from this talented crew makes us just a little more excited.

Artist Bio

The inspiration for Radiation City's newest output stems from an old piano. The piano has lived in drummer Randy Bemrose's basement for eons. It's old, cumbersome, and on it's last legs. The band used sounds from the piano throughout the recording of this new EP not just the keys though, the clicks and clacks from the body, the slamming of the lid, and virtually every other sound you can imagine making on the piano. After they were finished, the piano was beat up, out of tune, and falling apart. Having used the old piano of all it's worth, and as a celebration of an intense year, Radiation City engaged in the ceremonial destruction of the old piano documented on the first single's video, Find it of Use.

Cool Nightmare is the followup to the dream-pop quintet's acclaimed debut, The Hands That Take You, released this past fall on Tender Loving Empire (Typhoon, Loch Lomond). Originally out via cassette on Radiation City founders Cameron Spies and Lizzy Ellison's cassette-only record label Apes Tapes, The Hands That Take You has been lauded by MTV, ELLE, Brooklyn Vegan, Paste, FuseTV, Prefix, and The L Magazine.

Radiation City is influenced by certain staple macro-genres such as 60's bossa nova and Chicago jazz, but their version of this classical sound is supported by irresistible pop vocal hooks and the employment of minimal electronics which provide rhythm but leave plenty of space. The band will soon embark on their first trip to SXSW as part of a tour that will take them down the West Coast and through the Midwest.

Radiation City is Lizzy Ellison (vocals, keys), Cameron Spies (guitar, vocals), Randy Bemrose (drums, vocals), Matt Rafferty (bass, vocals), Patti King (vocals, keys, bass).


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Radiation City

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