Radiation City, the dreampop quintet from Portland, Ore., aren’t afraid to blend diverse influences into their music, ranging from bossa nova to Northern soul to doo-wop. But the band brought a new sense of urgency to its third full-length album, Synesthetica, scheduled for release on Feb. 12 via Polyvinyl Records.
The principals behind Radiation City confess the band almost broke up, and the founding couple behind the band — vocalist and guitarist Cameron Spies and vocalist and keyboardist Lizzy Ellison — almost ended their relationship.
But they found new life in changing their approach to things and enlisting producer John Vanderslice (known for his work with Spoon and Death Cab for Cutie). The resulting album sounds a bit “otherworldly.”
“We were trying to get to a place where cultural constructs didn’t mean anything,” Spies said. “We wanted to destroy the barriers between all the things we keep separate in our daily lives.”
The lead single, “Juicy,” has a sing-song cadence that occasionally lapses into neo-psychedelia. It’s extremely pleasant on the ears!
Listen to “Juicy” by Radiation City on Soundcloud:
The album takes its name from the condition “synesthesia,” which can cause a person to see colors when they hear musical notes, as Lizzy apparently does! Lizzy and Cameron are joined by their bandmates drummer Dasha Shleyeva, drummer Randy Bemrose, and bassist Patti King, and they are hitting DC9 on Monday, Feb. 29 on their tour in support of the new album.
Seattle indie rockers Deep Sea Diver open for Radiation City. Tickets are available online!