Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I work in the Radio Department

Maybe it's only natural that I dig Clinging To A Scheme, the new album from Malmö/Stockholm band The Radio Dept., considering I work in the 'radio department' at the University of Manitoba. More likely though, is the fact that crisply produced Swedish pop with some electronic flourishes is right in my wheelhouse [and yes, that's the second time in two posts I've used the term 'wheelhouse.' It's baseball season!!].

I first received Clinging To A Scheme in February from the good folks at The Musebox and I've gone back to the well repeatedly in the ensuing months. Starting today [April 21st], folks everywhere can start drawing water from that same well as Labrador Records is finally releasing the third album by this trio (Daniel Tjäder on keyboards, Martin Carlberg on guitar and Johan Duncanson on guitar and vocals), their first full-length since 2006.

While Carlberg and Duncanson were the most important cogs in the machine on albums past, with a shift away from their shoegaze past towards a synth pop present Tjäder becomes the big cheese at the cracker factory. It's pretty evident on lead single "Heaven's On Fire" which bounces along on a jaunty keyboard line - it's irrepressible and will stick in your head for days. Carlberg and Duncanson do figure importantly on many of the tracks on the album though - opener "Domestic Scene" has a shimmery guitar line that absolutely makes the song. Elsewhere it's the interplay between the instruments ("A Token Of Gratitude," "Memory Loss") that recalls the band's past while pointing to their future.

I've written about label-mates The Mary Onettes previously on Ear To The Sound and if you found yourself enjoying Islands, I'm pretty sure you'll dig The Radio Dept.

You can check out the band's Myspace page or order the album off the Labrador site.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

No comments: