The Radio Dept. was formed by Elin Almered and Johan Duncanson in 1995 who were in the school together in their early teens. The name was taken from a gas station/radio repairer shop in Lund, Sweden which had a large sign with the name “Radioavdelningen, (“The Radio Department” in Swedish) hanging outside their shop.
Since 1995 members have been coming and going and at some points there has never really been a Radio Department at all. Martin Carlberg and Johan Duncanson started playing together in 1998 and decided to use the name The Radio Dept. Since the band has done lots of gigs and lots of recordings. The Radio Dept. recorded 4-tracks in friends’ living rooms or at home, in the smelly warehouse, in demo studios with blinking fluorescent lightning and at schools.
In the autumn of 2001 Lisa Carlberg and Per Blomgren (Bass & drums respectively), joined the band and they started rehearsing in the way bands so often do. Soon afterward they were all joined by Daniel Tjäder, on the keyboards. Their recordings were sent to the music magazine Sonic and got a nice review. They were also on the free CD sampler that comes with the magazine. That’s where Labrador Records discovered and learned to love the band. Now they’re a part of Sweden’s finest indie label.
Album Title: “Swedish Guns” Mythologen Remix
A synth-heavy version of their single “Swedish Gun” off the 2016 LP “Running out of Love” “Swedish Guns” Mythologen Remix makes hauntingly seductive use of echo and a change in the way the rhythm is delivered create a new sound for their song. Even catchier than the original, the Mythologen Remix has a club feel to it that is lacking in the original. The drawn-out and exaggerated synth give a dreamy, space-age quality to the sound, without changing the tempo of the music.
While the original has a cleaner, crisper sound, there are times when it seems to drag, with its slow delivery of the lyrics and open, empty places. “You want something done, get Swedish guns, take care of someone, get Swedish guns, You need a helping hand? Get Swedish guns Secure a piece of land, Get Swedish guns.” The words are simple, yet powerful in the message they contain.
The song itself is a protest to the Swedish Arms Industry, a call for them to look at the way that guns in the country are used and the people that they are being used against. With its richer delivery and the almost hypnotic quality of the Mythologen Remix, “Swedish Guns” became even more powerful in my opinion.
While The Radio Dept.’s sound seems to more typically be closer to a blend of soft rock and indy pop, leaning closer to the slow side as found on full-length albums “Pet Grief” and “Running out of Love,” the release of the “Mythologen Remix” shows a range previously untouched by the band in prior works. In opening up the song to a wider audience and the potential for club play, they also broaden the range that their message can reach.
With songs that seem to almost float from one to the next over the course of an album, The Radio Dept. tackles the mundane of everyday living and domestic situations to capitalism, the requisitioning of culture for profit, loss and grief, with a flair for the nostalgic, the dreamy and the soothing tones that suck in the listener and urge them to pay attention to the lyrics, the message and the delivery.
Now, with the “Mythologen Remix” they are also urging the audience to move, to take action, I cannot help but feel that in changing this particular song they are urging listeners to hear the words, sing the words, and repeat them to anyone who will listen until changes are made.
As a first introduction to the band, I found myself taking the time to go back and listen to the older albums along with the original version of “Swedish Guns” and what I heard, I very much enjoyed. This is a band that’s perfect for all day listening, and even better on a rainy day. There is a depth of emotion in the delivery of each lyric, and while their messages are not delivered with a loud, shouting, militant vibe, there is something to be said for this less than preachy approach that forces listeners to open their ears and pay close attention to every word.
While protest through song is by no means a new thing in any country, The Radio Dept. has done a wonderful job of handling the topics that are near and dear to their hearts in a way that is consistent with their soft, almost seductively surreal sound.
Rating Tag: Hypnotic, elemental, seductive
Track Specific (0 to 5) 4
Publicity team: Renee Cotsis: Girlie Action Media, Marketing & Management
Publicity team website: www.girlieaction.com
Artist’s website: http://www.theradiodept.com/
Artist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theradiodept/
Artist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/slottet
Artist on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/theradiodeptvideos
Artist on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/the-radio-dept-official