The Radio Dept.

Label: Labrador
Genre: Pop

The Radio Dept started a journey a number of years ago, a pop voyage (pronounced French-style) if you will, that has started a new leg. The fuzzed out bliss pop seems so very long ago, as they enter an orchestral funk pop phase, still framed with their signature techniques. Regardless of the destination, the fun is in getting there.

Second Post 5/9/2008: The Radio Dept's last LP Pet Grief further cemented their delicate pop sounds, built with the tools of 80's pop (haunting keyboads, drum machines, echo pedals), as their sound. "Freddie and the Trojan Horse," from their upcoming June EP, doesn't mess with their formula, but it does turn up the tempo and the urgency.

Original Post 11/17/2004: Like religious conversion or political persuasion, music can be very personal. Isn't that why we like it? So rather than a cold, third-person blip about The Radio Dept., allow me to share something personal, which is that I just love The Radio Dept. Love. My longstanding record for the most times I've listened to a song in a row is Joe Jackson's "Got the Time," clocking in at 48 consecutive listens. But, at the rate I'm going, The Radio Dept.'s "Pulling Our Weight" is going to overtake that before the night is over.

David [MP3, 8.2MB, 256kbps]

Older downloads:
Why Won't You Talk About It? [MP3, 2.6MB, 112kbps]
Pulling Our Weight [MP3, 3.8MB, 160kbps]
Against the Tide [MP3, 4.1MB, 128kbps]

Posted by clay on 08.31.09 | Comments (5) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Label: Labrador
Genre: Electronic

Just the other day, my buddy Roland from my freshman year of college said on Facebook that "Love Like Blood" by Killing Joke was the best song ever. While I think "The Fall of Because" is Killing Joke's best song (let's not even get started on the topic of "Best Song Ever"), it did cause me to pull out some old records of other electronic tinged artists of that era that Roland introduced me to, namely Click Click's Rorschach Testing and Clan of Xymox's self-titled LP. The Labrador Records site describes Pallers as "the darkest and finest electronic music we've heard in a long time." That's the perfect description of Pallers, who take the dark electronics of the previously named bands, yet add vocals with an amazing Swedish pop sensibility a la fellow Swedes The Radio Dept, making what was old new again.

Humdrum [MP3, 8.8MB, 256kbps]

Posted by clay on 12.15.08 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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The Sound of Arrows

Label: Labrador
Genre: Pop

I just felt it in the air. It's a warm fuzzy feeling in that glob of fat my skull houses, otherwise known as a brain. This warm fuzzy feeling reminds me to check in on the label that consistently provides me with warm fuzzy music: Labrador. They just signed a Stockholm duo, The Sound of Arrows, who dress as if they're living on a polygamist ranch in Texas and sound like The Avalanches mixing Placebo. I look forward to hearing more from these pleasantly pastel pals when their 9-song EP is out in May.

Danger [MP3, 8.1MB, 256kbps]

Posted by sean on 04.22.08 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Label: Labrador
Genre: Pop

File under: Better Late Than Never. [ingenting] may mean "nothing" in their native tongue of Swedish, but this wonderful single, a favorite of mine since Labrador offered it for free, oh, about 11 months ago (see first sentence), is anything but. The post-punk guitar, the keyboard-driven simple melody, the disco bass, and the crisp drumming are awfully catchy and do not deserve to be horded by me any longer.

Punkdrömmar [MP3, 3.0MB, 128kbps]

Posted by clay on 10.29.07 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Club 8

Label: Labrador
Genre: Pop, Slowcore

I feel a special numerical affinity for Club 8. The number eight holds a particular significance with me, a significance that I don't believe I've shared outright with our readership, which is surprising, even to me, because I'm quite obnoxious with it in person. Put it this way, I probably would've been much better at math if we worked off a base eight system. OK, I'll put it another way: I wouldn't get very far hitchhiking. Here, you'd better just have a look (Taken, probably ten years ago, by Mr. Lifto backstage at a Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. No it hasn't been Photoshopped.). Now that we've established I'm a member of Club 8, onto the music at hand (pun not intended, seriously)...

Club 8 is the Swedish boy-girl duo of Johan Angergård and Karolina Komstedt, homemaking music since 1995. Incessantly smooth and gorgeous, both the singing and playing, Club 8 has toyed with different takes on their cozy pop sound: '60s folk, trip-hop, and bossa nova. It's been five years since the last Club 8 album due to the fact that both Johan Angergård and Komstedt also play in Acid House Kings, not to mention Angergård's work with The Legends. Their new album, The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming, promises to balance sunshine ("Heaven") and melancholia ("Jesus, Walk With Me"—a quiet rebuttal to Sam Harris et al). In a word, stunning.

Heaven [MP3, 4.2MB, 192kbps]
Jesus, Walk With Me [MP3, 4.3MB, 192kbps]
Spring Came, Rain Fell [MP3, 3.0MB, 160kbps]
What Shall We Do Next? [MP3, 3.6MB, 192kbps]

Posted by sean on 10.09.07 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Label: Labrador
Genre: Pop

White Christmas in Sweden? When would it not be a white Christmas in Sweden? Guess that's why Labrador Records' Christmas present to us is the wishfully-titled "Christmas on the Beach" from pop masters Irene. I say pop masters since Irene's songs display pop from every decade since the 60's, no doubt honed and perfected on many a white Christmas Day while dreaming of warmer climes...

Christmas on the Beach [MP3, 1.9MB, 128kbps]

Posted by clay on 12.25.06 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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The Mary Onettes

Label: Labrador
Genre: Pop

Sam, Clay and I bicker constantly about who's gonna post the latest treat from Sweden's ever-so-sweet Labrador Records. Thanks to Jason over at Mystery and Misery (and newly Minimal) I've won this round. The Mary Onettes not only have a playful '80s era air about their name, they've also captured the artful earnestness of the decade's music. "Lost" devos open with a driving drum beat that leads into a jangly, New Order guitar riff and A Flock of Seagulls keyboard flourish. On paper it sounds like a disaster, but to the ear it's pure, um, music. They drop things down a few notches on "What's So Strange?" an acoustic-y, track bordering on gentle, psychedelic XTC. Next time your parents complain that "They just don't make music like they used to!" give 'em a dose of The Mary Onettes.

Lost [MP3, 2.6MB, 160kbps]
Void [MP3, 6.3MB, 256kbps]
What's So Strange? [MP3, 2.3MB, 96kbps]

More music from The Mary Onettes:

Puzzles [MP3]
Dare [MP3]
From the album Islands on Labrador Records (added 1/5/10)

Posted by sean on 10.01.06 | Comments (3) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Pelle Carlberg

Label: Labrador
Genre: Pop

A Swedish boy and his guitar. Former leader of the Swedish band Edson, Pelle Carlberg, is out on his own now, finding his way in the big world and singing about it all with warm, personal, and calmly infectious pop.

Riverbank [MP3, 3.5MB, 160kbps]
Go to Hell, Miss Rydell [MP3, 5.1MB, 192kbps]

Posted by clay on 02.01.06 | Comments (3) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Label: Labrador
Genre: Pop

Swedish. Pop. Labrador Records. Silly. Dark. A concept. Songs about a Japanese female assasin. Thrilling costumes. Songs about murder and sex. Not really a band. Genius.

Meet Me Here [MP3, 5.0MB, 192kbps]
Keep Your Love [MP3, 4.1MB, 160kbps]

Posted by clay on 12.28.05 | Comments (5) | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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