Single Review: Radiation City – Milky White

By on Friday, 29th January 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Holly Andres

Radiation City, founded back in 2009, have with roots in Portland, Oregon. So far, they have released two full-length albums, and their third, ‘Synesthetica’, is scheduled for release on the 12th of February on Polyvinyl Records. It’s a bit of a departure from their previous stuff. Past album ‘Animals in the Median’, which was released in 2013, is much more indie pop than the latest singles, although the synth element is still there. ‘Milky White’ is the second release from the upcoming album, and is another teaser of what is expected when ‘Synesthetica’ is released next month (the first was ‘Juicy’, which was released in back November). Jeremy Sherrer, of Modest Mouse and Gossip collaboration fame, produced the new LP, so you should have some idea about how exciting this track is.

‘Milky White’ is a pleasure to hear: it glitters and shines, like a track cut from a diamond made of synthpop. I honestly can’t stop listening to it! It’s funk, with an addictive bass melody popping throughout the track. The melody is layered over with various samples, organ parts, spirited guitar riffs and bleeping synth sounds, coming together to create something really unique. The choral vocals in the background enhance the soul feel of the track, further adding to the complexity of and the range of influences that ‘Milky White’ channels.

Initially gentle, the track builds into an incredibly addictive tune that’ll have you bopping along to by the end of it. There’s so much going on, but it’s done in such a way that the song doesn’t feel clumsy of overstuffed with unnecessary moments. It’s dreamy and otherworldly, conveying a gentle intensity. That’s the thing: it’s a whole lot of elements that don’t sound like they should work on paper, but they do. Picture a psychedelic James Brown or George Clinton bopping along to the rhythm of the track like I did. Following some personal issues that came about after the release of ‘Animals in the Median’, it seems like they’re back on track and more polished than before.

The new single is like a sign of positive growth in many ways: it’s bolder and gutsier than the older stuff, but it’s also terrifically elegant and controlled. If you do one thing today, make sure you give ‘Milky White’ a listen.

8/10

‘Synesthetica’ will be out in mid-February. Radiation City have tonnes of dates coming up in America and a few dotted around the UK, so if you’re a fan of the single, make sure to check them out live if you can.

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