Why is The Radio Dept. being, like, so ignored by Indiedom?

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The Radio Dept. is, like, my new favorite band right now, living somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and Lansing-Dreiden:


For some reason they seem to have been largely ignored by the press this year (I'm looking at you, Pitchfork!), but this thread aims to fix that. Streaming audio tracks (Real Audio) available on the XL website. Go check it out there, then head over to SLSK and you know what.

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 19:50 (fifteen years ago) link

they rock. inna kind-of waking-from-a-dream-pop stylee. love 'em to bits, and am slowly amassing as much of their stuff as possible. i put "slottet" on a CD i've just done for my mate who's "gone off music". it's after interpol ("not even jail") and before pelican ("drought"), and works beautifully.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 19:54 (fifteen years ago) link

Radio Dept. came out on Shelflife in the U.S. more than 18 months ago. It was in PFM's WATW at the time and, even though it's getting a lot of notice in the UK in the past few months, it was sort of decided that it was too old of a release to cover in the album reviews. (fwiw, I like 'em)

scott pl. (scott pl.), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 19:57 (fifteen years ago) link

Hmm, I couldn't find it on Pitchfork or Google


Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 20:09 (fifteen years ago) link

hmm, I can't seem to find the original entry either, but apparently it was in Oct. 03 and it made that month's 'best of' mix:


scott pl. (scott pl.), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 20:14 (fifteen years ago) link


TITS.JPG (ex machina), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 20:38 (fifteen years ago) link

these guys have been getting hype just under the radar for like what, 2 years straight now? I'd hardly say they are being ignored.

Avi (Avi), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 20:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Tits.Jpg, how would you like to win a pair of tickets to see The Radio Dept. play in your hometown!?!?! Watch ILM for more details...

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 21:03 (fifteen years ago) link

maybe everyone has moved onto suburban kids with biblical names now?

keith m (keithmcl), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 21:35 (fifteen years ago) link

the world isnt ready for a shoegazing revival... just yet...

and thats the sad truth..

danny boy (danny boy), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 23:01 (fifteen years ago) link

Are they REALLY as good as Lansing-Dreiden?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 23:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Radio Dept have some vague post-shoegazing sonic tendencies but I think it's completely off to call them shoegazers or shoegaze revivalists: there's a duct-tape bedroomy sound to some of this stuff that strikes me as having more to do with Russian Futurists or Rocketship or even old Magnetic Fields than any big shoegazer band-in-a-room. And yeah, coverage-wise it's down to exactly what Scott said: it didn't get that proper publicity-driven on-the-release-date coverage, and over the course of its slow-burn bubbling-up reception it was kinda too late for outlets to really hop on it. This is incidentally one thing I dislike about review outlets of all sort, not just music: I don't understand the need to be timely with everything. Obviously there's a kind of admission-of-failure that goes with coming around to something a bit late, but it seems like if something's great and people would like it and it isn't being covered or talked about elsewhere, there's no harm in hitting it.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 23:10 (fifteen years ago) link

I just heard "Lesser Matters", and every track is appealing to me except maybe "Your Father".

I think a little bit of civilization went down the toilet when someone coined the term 'indiedom'.

me, Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:25 (fifteen years ago) link

"This is incidentally one thing I dislike about review outlets of all sort, not just music: I don't understand the need to be timely with everything."

I agree with you entirely on this point, Nabisco, and considering that, I guess I shouldn't have singled out Pitchfork, but I couldn't even find any serious discussion of The Radio Dept. on ILM, and I thought that was definitely a little weird... especially considering the ridiculous amount of talk that The Arcade Fire is "generating". Is this a regional thing? Do european (read: non-anglicans) artists necessarily have more to prove? Why?

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:33 (fifteen years ago) link

these guys suck. subpar indie papp. plugging your guitar in direct doesn't make you shoegaze, it just makes the guitar sound like it's plugged in direct.

this is lo-fi bedroom generic indie straight from 1992. send it back.

cutty (mcutt), Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:57 (fifteen years ago) link

and no, they sound NOTHING like lansing dreiden.

cutty (mcutt), Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Specific examples for my Lansing-Dreiden comparison: "Liebling" and "We Would Fall Agaisnt The Tide" off their Against The Tide EP.

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Thursday, 23 December 2004 02:07 (fifteen years ago) link

that's ok, i still love you nancy boy.

cutty (mcutt), Thursday, 23 December 2004 02:08 (fifteen years ago) link

i heard lansing dreiden sounds like olivia tremor control

artdamages (artdamages), Thursday, 23 December 2004 02:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Aw, shucks.

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Thursday, 23 December 2004 02:09 (fifteen years ago) link

NaBo: I dunno, the recent "good indie things" thread had more discussion of Radio Dept than most anything else. I don't know that their situation is one of having to "prove themselves," or anyway it's not that any more than it'd be for a good release that originated on a US label like Dougle Agent, Grimsey, or -- umm -- Shelflife. First off there's an inbuilt suspicion of this kind of thing, as there are always half a billion indie pop-type records with legions of indie pop-type people going "omigod it's the best thing ever"; in only about 10% of those cases is there even a shot of any crossover appeal. Second, there's no big publicity push to actually get these already-suspicious releases reviewed in a timely manner, and once they slip there's even less reason to believe they're worth making a late-breaking push about. Thirdly, in the case of Radio Dept, there's really no one-liner basis to make a push for it: cutty's right, it really is just yr basic bedroom-indie pop-type stuff.

I think anyone who's inclined to like any sort of genuine indie-indie pop stuff is going to wind up spending half of every year with head in hands wondering why that one the Truly Deserved to cross over never got the slightest bit of attention; this is possibly kind of a better situation, really, because it keeps us from ever having to discover the potential truth that nobody else would like this stuff anyway. I dunno -- I'm still thinking exactly the same kind of stuff about Toulouse's New Points New Lines, from a couple years back.

nabiscothingy (nory), Thursday, 23 December 2004 03:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Actually I meant to note that while cutty's right and this really is just kinda yr basic bedroom-indie pop-type stuff, I concur that it's particularly well-done basic bedroom-indie pop-type stuff. Which is the whole thing about this genre -- it's not actually generic! The whole beauty of listening to something like this or something like Russian Futurists is hearing someone sketch out his or her own particular idiosyncratic pop vision in miniature. It's never quite the same: you record an album in this way and no matter how much you try to slick it up it's going to come out sounding slightly weird and unmistakably just yours.

nabiscothingy (nory), Thursday, 23 December 2004 03:20 (fifteen years ago) link

That "good indie thing" thread is actually where I first heard about The Radio Dept. If my memory serves, the whole point of that thread was to discuss bands that had been (undeservedly?) missed by el radar. I'm just wondering out loud why that happened to this particular band. I guess it has to do with distribution, PR, and the whole promotions apparatus...

As far as Cutty's comments about "lo-fi bedroom generic indie straight from 1992", I really don't see anything generic about it all. And some of my favorite bands have bedrooms, lo-fi or otherwise.

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Thursday, 23 December 2004 05:28 (fifteen years ago) link

ok, i take it back, you are a moron.

cutty (mcutt), Thursday, 23 December 2004 15:44 (fifteen years ago) link


TITS.JPG (ex machina), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:49 (fifteen years ago) link


nabiscothingy (nory), Thursday, 23 December 2004 19:00 (fifteen years ago) link

their name is bad, I don't know about the music, but there's already a Radio 4 and a hundred other bands with Radio in their name. Surely we can be more creative than this.

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 23 December 2004 19:01 (fifteen years ago) link

my next band will be named Radio Band

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 23 December 2004 19:02 (fifteen years ago) link

Their name is Radioavdelningen. "The Radio Dept." is the english translation.

Kyle, you should name your next band "The Black Radio". Then you've got all your bases covered.

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Thursday, 23 December 2004 20:03 (fifteen years ago) link

*This* is gay:


Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Thursday, 23 December 2004 20:05 (fifteen years ago) link


nabiscothingy (nory), Thursday, 23 December 2004 20:13 (fifteen years ago) link

the new trembling blue stars single is totally rsdio dept but the rest of the album isn't.

keith m (keithmcl), Friday, 24 December 2004 16:01 (fifteen years ago) link

"Brilliant recent indie/alt-rock/whatever for those who've lost interest in/touch with it all a bit"

iBrilliant recent indie/alt-rock/whatever for those who've lost interest in/touch with it all a bit

This is the thread Nabisco mentioned earlier

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Friday, 24 December 2004 16:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Kyle, you should name your next band "The Black Radio". Then you've got all your bases covered.

wolf radio, surely

the surface noise (slight return) (electricsound), Friday, 24 December 2004 22:19 (fifteen years ago) link

the wolf radios

cutty (mcutt), Friday, 24 December 2004 22:47 (fifteen years ago) link

Found this Audioscrobbler group "connected" to the Radio Dept.


"We are here to find lost music that has been made or is waiting to be made. We want to find great new music. We want to rediscover music that, for whatever reason, has slipped off the radar. We also want to build a thriving community of like minded souls who can share their passion for music in an open and friendly environment.

"lostmusic likes its sounds in many different ways - subtle and aching, noisey and abrasive. We are suckers for a great melody and love music made with attitude out of love not greed. Our roots can be traced back to the 80's indie scene and beyond that to punk and further back to the 60's with The Velvet Underground and even further back to Elvis and the rockers of the 50's."

Also, "Wolf Radio" rules, but how about Radio Hague?

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Saturday, 25 December 2004 16:47 (fifteen years ago) link

i hate those lostmusic people.

:| (....), Saturday, 25 December 2004 17:27 (fifteen years ago) link

indie rock is dead

Julio Casablanco, Saturday, 25 December 2004 21:04 (fifteen years ago) link

dead as disco. in 1994.

:| (....), Saturday, 25 December 2004 22:25 (fifteen years ago) link

They're releasing a new EP in January. It's called This Past Week and according to trustworthy sources it's supposed to be great. For all you fans of the album you MUST get hold of the EP called Pulling Our Weight. It was released after the album and it's even better than the album(if you can believe that). This band can do nothing wrong.

Crapstone (Crapstone), Saturday, 25 December 2004 23:34 (fifteen years ago) link

I can't get past the aroma of pale indie underachievement on the LP.

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Sunday, 26 December 2004 00:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Is that new EP the "Ewan EP"?

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Sunday, 26 December 2004 05:57 (fifteen years ago) link

No, that's not something official because they've never released any EP with that name. It's a song though.

Crapstone (Crapstone), Sunday, 26 December 2004 12:19 (fifteen years ago) link

it does exist, it was just released on XL. the newer ep is coming out on labrador.

keith m (keithmcl), Sunday, 26 December 2004 17:37 (fifteen years ago) link

"it does exist, it was just released on XL. the newer ep is coming out on labrador."

okay, but that's a british/american release then. I live in sweden so we wont be getting that(or will we?). two of the songs are old and the third is not something I recognize..

Crapstone (Crapstone), Sunday, 26 December 2004 21:46 (fifteen years ago) link

Am I allowed to vote for the Radio Dept in my end of year list or is it too 2003, do you think?. 'Strange Things Will Happen' is pushing to be my favourite song of the year.

Alba (Alba), Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:38 (fifteen years ago) link

strange things will happen is their best tune, too bad it's the only track where that girl sings. if she were the voice of the band, i would actually like them.

cutty (mcutt), Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Seems apropos that "Lesser Things" made Broken Social Scene's top 10 records of 2004.

Nancy Boy (Nancy Boy), Friday, 31 December 2004 02:04 (fifteen years ago) link


Ian Moraine (Eastern Mantra), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 11:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Is Indie Dom still ignoring them? I hope he catches on.

socka flocka-jones (man alive), Wednesday, 27 July 2016 15:47 (three years ago) link

pet grief is kind of cool

F♯ A♯ (∞), Wednesday, 27 July 2016 17:17 (three years ago) link

This is the best music news I've heard all year.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 27 July 2016 19:44 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

this album is glorious

art baengels (monotony), Tuesday, 30 August 2016 07:59 (three years ago) link

i especially love can't be guilty & committed to the cause

ufo, Tuesday, 30 August 2016 09:55 (three years ago) link

Out or leaked?

michaellambert, Tuesday, 30 August 2016 13:21 (three years ago) link

leaked, i think it's still 2 months away

ufo, Tuesday, 30 August 2016 13:32 (three years ago) link

I've always like their singles and b sides a little more than their full lengths. But I like this new record!

JacobSanders, Tuesday, 30 August 2016 13:46 (three years ago) link

"swedish guns" is so fucking good

j. winters (josh), Tuesday, 30 August 2016 17:52 (three years ago) link

I like the housey pop direction they have taken, driving around listening in the rain today was nice.

JacobSanders, Tuesday, 30 August 2016 19:56 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Touring too :)

Ross, Wednesday, 14 September 2016 23:25 (three years ago) link

I love how their albums are so concise.

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Wednesday, 14 September 2016 23:41 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

wow, this sounds nothing like i expected it to do. the "housey pop" description is true. at first listen, the pace and feel is maybe too consistent. committed to the cause followed by running out of love is beautiful.

wishy washy hippy variety hour (Hunt3r), Saturday, 15 October 2016 19:20 (three years ago) link

Committed To The Cause is the best thing they have ever done, I constantly have that synth melody in my head just now.

boxedjoy, Sunday, 16 October 2016 07:07 (three years ago) link

Nothing new to add, this is wonderful. I love "Can't Be Guilty" most so far.

There's enough variety that I don't think a few fuzzy indie pop numbers would've interrupted the flow. Last year I'd kinda hoped for an album where "Occupied" was followed by the rush and "lately I've been occupied" open of "This Repeated Sodomy."

geoffreyess, Thursday, 27 October 2016 20:19 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Had no idea RD released a new album! They really are kind of ignored. Listening to it now. Clinging to a Scheme is my top twenty of the decade, probably.

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Tuesday, 29 November 2016 23:49 (three years ago) link

Ok, at "Can't Be Guilty" and at this point it's safe to say I'm loving this album. It sounds like a grower, too.

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Wednesday, 30 November 2016 00:37 (three years ago) link

I'm hearing Junior Boys vibes with this one, more so than CtaS...

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Wednesday, 30 November 2016 00:40 (three years ago) link

This album is so good, it's like the best parts of their b-sides collection ("Passive Aggressive") mixed with CtaS.

Ross, Wednesday, 30 November 2016 00:40 (three years ago) link

All their albums are awesome and this is no exception. Personally they are a top five band of the last 15 years.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 30 November 2016 00:54 (three years ago) link

I think CtaS has the edge on this slightly

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 30 November 2016 08:34 (three years ago) link

I'll take "Pet Grief" over any of them. Yes, that album is more of a sustained mood, but it's unfuckwithable. Turned my co-worker onto their new album and he doesn't want to give the iPod back :-D

Ross, Thursday, 1 December 2016 01:07 (three years ago) link

really jamming the hell out of this explicitly anti-fascist album lately

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Thursday, 1 December 2016 17:14 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

i like these guys - clinging to a scheme is my favorite album. their upcoming show in philly tickets are only $15. what's their live show like - would i dig it should i go?

Mordy, Tuesday, 24 January 2017 23:58 (three years ago) link

Never seen them but it's such a cheap show :) I'm going in late February

Everything Moves Towards The Sun (Ross), Wednesday, 25 January 2017 01:01 (three years ago) link

I saw them for the CTAS tour, and really enjoyed it, despite it being one of the last failed dates with my ex.

DJI, Wednesday, 25 January 2017 01:45 (three years ago) link

Definitely go! The songs become something really special in a more intimate live setting.

Millsner, Wednesday, 25 January 2017 12:29 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Saw Radio Dept. tonight. Technical difficulties forced their hand into playing less new songs. However, on the plus side they deviated from their standard set and played more oldies like "Always a Relief" and "Why Won't You Talk About It"!!

Everything Moves Towards The Sun (Ross), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 07:42 (three years ago) link

Saw them a few weeks ago - they sounded fantastic though they have almost no stage presence whatsoever.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 19:02 (three years ago) link

eight months pass...

aaaaa holy shit


ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 6 November 2017 20:38 (two years ago) link

so fucking good!!

joshywinty (josh), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 00:04 (two years ago) link

Running Out of Love might be their best album yet. I wish they were more prolific.

Simon H., Tuesday, 7 November 2017 13:06 (two years ago) link

I love the Henning Furst remix on the new EP where he turns "We Got Game" into a reggae number with an interpolation of Inner City's "Good Life"

boxedjoy, Saturday, 11 November 2017 19:09 (two years ago) link

two months pass...


new single!

ufo, Friday, 12 January 2018 12:24 (two years ago) link


Isi, Saturday, 13 January 2018 08:11 (two years ago) link

Can a band have an imperial phase this long into its career, and when no one notices? Death to Fascism/Occupied/This Repeated Sodomy/Swedish Guns/We Got Game/Teach Me to Forget/Your True Name is an insane run of singles, and some of the album tracks (Can't Be Guilty, specifically) are even better.

geoffreyess, Sunday, 14 January 2018 16:50 (two years ago) link

imperial phase runs longer imo

what I love about The Radio Dept is that even with all the muffled, lo-fi production and political lyrics, their music always seems so melodically direct, it feels so instinctive that even listening to "Your True Name" for the first time just seems to fall into a kind of logic, like this song has always existed and they just managed to capture it floating in the air, the way the chords - like many of their songs - capture this peaceful melancholy.

boxedjoy, Monday, 15 January 2018 11:43 (two years ago) link

they're probably the most consistent band of the last two decades

ufo, Monday, 15 January 2018 11:59 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Your true name reminds me of that new improved hypocrisy song they did. Otm above about consistency and that EP version of teach me to forget rules

tinnitus the night (Ross), Saturday, 24 March 2018 19:19 (two years ago) link

five months pass...


everything this band does is gold

ufo, Friday, 31 August 2018 05:01 (one year ago) link

hell yeah

yes, said (Ross), Friday, 31 August 2018 18:32 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

everything this band does is gold

― ufo, Friday, August 31, 2018 1:01 AM (three months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Including this gem of a session


Van Horn Street, Sunday, 2 December 2018 01:46 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

New single, apparently they’ll release one a month and compile them into an album


self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 18:37 (two months ago) link

Love this. They don't really know how to write bad songs do they.

kitchen person, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 18:48 (two months ago) link

that's really gorgeous, i love this band

ufo, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 23:45 (two months ago) link

the best band of all time

american bradass (BradNelson), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 23:47 (two months ago) link

that harp is really chrono trigger

ufo, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 23:47 (two months ago) link

a beautiful tune

nxd, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 23:53 (two months ago) link

one month passes...


not quite as transcendent as the last one but i still love it

ufo, Friday, 20 March 2020 15:28 (two weeks ago) link

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