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- Passive Aggressive: Singles by The Radio Dept
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About bloody time they collected some of this band's more esoteric output together! We first got exposed in 2002 when Rex put out a single called 'Liebling'. It was possibly one of the loveliest, ghostly fuzzy indie gems I'd ever clapped ears on! We only had one properly distributed UK album from them and then they seemed to vanish back to "obscure import" land from whence they came. Swedish indie pop, as uniformly great as much of it is, is poorly distributed on these shores. Bands like Liechtenstein & these guys have rabid Global cult followings but shit, nabbing many of their records involves a trawl & quite some effort! Of course it's worth it but, now, really, this fat beast of an anthology has landed with a bang & is quite a labour of love/money saving treat (whichever side of the coin you prefer)! The press release has it bang on as regards their influences - Slumberland style noise-pop, Mid-late 80's UK indie (hello Sarah recs./Field Mice/The Wake) and the dancier side of the sensitive, retro/cinematic brigade (Yo Cracknell, Stanley & Wiggs) So, many of the earlier sparky, lovelorn songs have this magical lo-fi or dreamy dusting that renders them sort of otherworldly, beamed down from another planet. The evergreen 'Liebling' or the gorgeous 'Ewan' are as good to these ears as anything, say, Deerhunter or The Post Office have ever done. ('Liebling' was only released as a single in the UK, crazily enough!) The harmonies are absolutely out of this world, proper special! I find myself loving downtempo electronica pieces such as 'Slottet' or the lush 'Mad About the Boy' just as much as any of the buzzy life-affirming indie pop nuggets they squeeze out so effortlessly! The Radio Dept are a very evocative, precious band who could easily unite fans of both The Field & Casiotone For the Painfully Alone. Tender, sad ecstasy is how I'd describe them. I think I'm gonna have to bag a vinyl or i'll just regret it!!
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