Portland’s Radiation City has always been one of the more sonically adventurous indie pop bands out there. They are known for riffing off of bossa nova, ’60s girl groups, and ethereal synth pop in endlessly absorbing ways, and new track “Stutter”—which the Bay Bridged is pleased to premiere today—adds yet another hue to their sonic palette.
“It’s a bit of a sneak peek into the ever evolving sound that is Radiation City,” says vocalist and keyboardist Lizzy Ellison of the track, which is a b-side from an album the band is currently working on and planning to put out next year. “It’s definitely a departure from the moodiness of the first three records. It’s happier, bumpin, colorful, but still retains the nuances typical of our music.”
“Stutter” is appropriately named, as there is some digital manipulation to the beat that almost brings to mind Purity Ring with its halting syncopation. Ellison even works an R&B-esque vocal hook into the chorus.
As for the new album, there’s no release date yet, but you can hear the new material on Radiation City’s current tour, including their stop in San Francisco at Rickshaw Stop on November 23 with Wild Ones and Be Calm Honcho. Just don’t expect all of the new songs to sound like “Stutter.”
“I wouldn’t say that any of the songs on the new record will sound like the b-side, but the quality of production and nuances are similar,” Ellison says. “In the new record, we decided to experiment with the idea of pop music, the simplicities and structures, and how to contort those ideas without it changing the fundamental ideas. There has always been a intentional use of pop in all our records. This one is just more apparent, more accessible. There are a lot of up beat songs, but each one pulls from a different era, most of them with a groove, related closely to 70’s funk/disco, which were genres we all listened to growing up.”
Whatever the new material sounds like, you can expect it to sound like Radiation City, Ellison says: “With this record it’s become apparent that we enjoy bending ideas so that they are comfortable, but discomfortingly so.”
Radiation City, Wild Ones, Be Calm Honcho
November 23, 2014
8pm, $12 (all ages)