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Radiation City

PREMIERE: Barra Brown - "Poem No. 8: The Thread (feat. Gregory Uhlmann)"

*photo by Reed Ricker

Conceptually speaking, the basis of Barra Brown's Poem Project is something to pay much attention to. Coming out on Cavity Search next month, Poem Project takes Barra Brown's single "Poem" and sees it interpreted by eight different musicians from across the country. From members of groups like Ages and Ages, The Shins and Radiation City among others, Poem Project's participating artists breathe new life into an already amazing song.

Under a set of specific parameters, each artist was allowed to play with the original structure of the song while providing their own lyrics as part of the transformation. The one of particular focus today is from Los Angeles folk musician Gregory Uhlmann, who produced the softly intimate folk of "Poem No. 8: The Thread." Uhlmann's orchestration has made for a beautifully minimal track, led by rich vocals and slow, warm instrumentation.

Listen to "Poem No. 8: The Thread" below and be on the lookout for Poem Project's release April 7.

Mood Music: New Move - "The City Life (ft. Chanti Darling & Ripley Snell)"

Dishing out insatiable classic pop for the last five or so years, New Move go about their creative exhibition employing hints of glam, indie rock and lurid doo wop. Their new album, Back in the Habit, drops today and it features a variety of local artists, including Illmaculate, King Who, Radiation City and more. For the track we're sharing today, we're focusing on this banger with Chanti Darling and Ripley Snell on the mic.

"The City Life" has an interesting beat from Cameron Spies on keys, Jesse Bettis on guitar and bass, and a soulful vocal melody from Chanti Darling that lasts throughout the track, playing with some very silkily delivered bars from Snell. Everything about it is just delightful, and worthy of many repeated plays.

New Move are having a release show for Back in the Habit tonight at Mississippi Studios along with some sets from Y La Bamba and Hustle & Drone. Minden, Boone Howard and the Domestics will all be making guest appearances as well.

Mood Music: Altadore - "Capable Wolf"

Summer's only officially been here for a few days but don't you already wish it was raining again? We do, and the perfect song to fit our rain ridden mood of longing happens to be the newest track from Altadore, titled "Capable Wolf."

Coming off his upcoming August release Opal, Luna, and Hymn on Randm Records, "Capable Wolf" tells of the heartache of an ending relationship. You can hear the sincerity of pain in David Katz's voice as he sings "I'm a wolf, I'm wolf/I don't know what I'm capable of/Just howling away most days." Featuring Patti King from Rad City on violin, her sister Kyleen King on viola and Jeff Bond on drums, Katz's vocal tones set over this Portland pro-played orchestral indie pop illcits shivers.

We'll just be wolves, howling away these hot ass days until we can brood without sweating. To put yourself in the mood, give "Capable Wolf" a listen below.

the Gritty Birds Podcast is back with a new X-Ray show

The lovely Ms. Jeni Wren Stottrup is bringing her top rated music and industry podcast (a "Top 5 Music Podcast" by the Willamette Week) back for all our ears to enjoy once again. Starting TODAY at 1pm, Stottrup brings the Gritty Birds Podcast to KXRY XRay FM with half hour spurts of intimate discussions involving those in the music scene, profiling newer bands and getting better acquainted with some of the older ones. 

Kicking off the revived podcast right, the first episode features former Portlanders YACHT, who aside from being one of the most enjoyed performances at last month's Treefort Music Festival, also have two sold out shows coming up at the Roseland Theater on April 25th and 26th with M83.

Speaking of Treefort, Gritty Birds will also launch a Treefort series, featuring artists who performed the fest like Burger Records' Sarah Bethe Nelson, our own beloved Radiation City and raw rockers Diarrhea Planet, among others. Film photos of the artists, shot by Ingrid Renan, will accompany the series.

Tune in today at 1pm, and follow the show every Thursday. Episodes will be available on iTunes the following Mondays.

Gritty Birds

Thursdays 1-1:30

107.1 fm /// 91.1 fm /// KXRY /// PORTLAND /// HOTLINE: 503-233-XRAY 

February 2016
Radiation City

Radiation City were, at the time of their last release in 2013, Animals in the Median, one of Portland's brightly shining stars. Their EP and two full lengths were staples of anyone involved in the music scene out here. But trouble in paradise for Rad City's founding couple proved a rocky road for what was to come of the band and any hope for another release. Flash forward to now, where we've been bestowed with a new album, somewhat of a new sound, and a reestablished vigor that can presently be heard upon first listen of Synesthetica.

Synesthetica's opening track, "Oil Show," immediately demonstrates the positive changes that have taken over the band on this album, especially its infectiously addicting beat. Radiation City nods to variety on this release, touching slightly on blues with "Juicy," delving into a Sade-esque soulfulness with "Butter," and gets synth-popped out with "Sugar Broom." 

Comparatively speaking, Synesthetica doesn't stray too far from what Rad City has done in the past but more so, plays upon everything they've picked up along the way through their three year hiatus. Their output of sound has elevated, their songs strengthened by different techniques and matured themes. It's almost as if they hadn't taken a break at all.

-Cervante Pope


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