Indie Artist Spotlight – The Radio Dept

I recently picked up the new album from indie rockers The Radio Dept and was thoroughly amused. I describe it as The Beach Boys meet M83 — a sort of ambient California post surf rock. Sounds strange, I know, but hear me out.

Listen to the track “You Stopped Making Sense.” It sounds remarkably like The Beach Boys “God Only Knows”, which any TV buff would recognize as the ethereal score to the opening title sequence of HBO’s Big Love. The more I listen to “You Stopped Making Sense”, the more I keep picturing myself as a philandering polygamist, with 10 badly dressed wives hovering over my head.

Next try “The Video Dept”, which has the calming effect of M83 with a well layered vocal tinges. I think they may have created a new genre with this track. Call it indie-ambient, or indient. Characterized by soothing post-rock like instrumental sequences and off-kiltered vocals and skinny jeans.

Follow those tracks up with the strange but appealing reggae like groove of Never Follow Suit and let the spoken words transform you into a time when acid was a part of every person’s daily intake.

And for dessert, try on “Heaven’s On Fire”, a very MGMT-esque song (the old MGMT, not that turd of a record they just released that sounds like a rip-off of Paul McCartney’s yet to be released 90th come back album)

And if you are still skeptical, listen to some fo their older albums. After all, thesee guys have been making records since they were actually made on records. But with a little help from our friends at Pitchfork Magazine, they seem to have found their way back into the mainstream, with a little something I like to call ‘indient tunes.’

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