Release Date: Feb 12, 2016
Record label: Polyvinyl
Before Radiation City began recording their third album, Synesthetica, they came very close to splitting up. After two albums and an EP, they were burnt out artistically and the driving couple behind the band (Cameron Spies and Lizzy Ellison) was close to breaking up. Instead of the band ending, the couple decided to start working on music again, this time taking control themselves.
Review Summary: Fallout in full 3D color. For a band with a sound that generally fell in that indistinct blogosphere sweet spot between “dreamy” and “hazy,” Portland, Oregon quartet Radiation City did their cribbing better than most. On 2013’s sophomore effort Animals in the Median, the group continued to chip out their own niche with a heavy serving of retro psychedelic pop, interstitial bits of analog glitch, and a considerable dollop of space-age weirdness that called to mind icons like Stereolab and the Human League in more than one reviewer.
Starting as a friendship between singer/keyboardist Lizzy Ellison and guitarist Cameron Spies, Radiation City had quaint beginnings at a DIY record label, Apes Tapes, which released music only on cassette. Soon after, they would be known as Portland’s best new band, with alt weeklies even dubbing them as “Jetsons-era doo-wop.” Given the band’s dreamy pop flourishes, nostalgic bossa nova elements, and ‘60s harmonies, the comparison is warranted. This isn’t their first go-around, though.