Release Date: Jan 25, 2011
Record label: Labrador
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Dream Pop, Noise Pop
The Radio Dept. have amassed as large a mutual admiration society of press and recording contemporaries as you'll find anywhere this past decade. While it would be unfair to dwell on the fact they've never really matched the gushing levels of praise in terms of record sales, their influence and legacy lives on through the likes of Cut Copy, M83 and to a lesser extent Emeralds, all of whom owe a small depth of gratitude to The Radio Dept.'s incendiary concoction of mesmeric shoegaze and ambient electronica.
The Radio Dept. have spent their whole career as underdogs. They are a band whose big moment has always seemed just out of reach, something compounded by the fact that they went album-less for four years, finally ending the dry spell with last year's fine Clinging to a Scheme. That record's success brought with it a swell of momentum-- two singles, an EP, and even a free Internet single to coincide with the Swedish elections.
Sure, it’s a bit presumptuous to put out a singles comp that includes the singles from your year-old album, but in the case of Sweden’s Radio Dept., there’s as good a chance you didn’t hear their 2010 singles or their 2002 singles. Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010 aims to correct that. Signed to Swedish label Labrador for their entire recording career, Radio Dept.’s albums have often seen delayed international rollouts, limited pressings, hardly noticed press and limited touring.
The dreamy, fuzz-loving Swedes of the Radio Dept. built up an impressive amount of critical respect and a small but devoted following over the course of a career that often seemed as hazy, understated, discreet, and ephemeral as their music typically feels. Issued in the wake of 2010's well-received Clinging to a Scheme, which earned the band their highest profile to date, this fittingly titled collection takes a somewhat selective approach to the A-sides-plus-B-sides singles-comp strategy.
The Radio Dept. THE RADIO DEPT. play Lee's Palace on Monday (February 7). See listing. Rating: NNNN. Though the Radio Dept. have been making music for nearly a decade, many were introduced to the band through last year's Clinging To A Scheme, their first LP in over four years. For those seduced by ….
The year 2010 was kind to the Radio Dept. The Swedish trio released Clinging to a Scheme in April, which was good enough to take the top spot on PopMatters’ year-end Best of Indie-Pop list. This followed a quiet four years for the band—while they released two EPs during that time, most people last heard the Radio Dept. back in 2006, when several of the band’s songs were featured in the Sofia Coppola-directed film Marie Antoinette.