The Radio Dept. kicked things off in Boston on Tuesday, March 7, playing to a packed crowd at Brighton Music Hall. The indie dream-pop group from Sweden consists of Johan Duncanson who started making music with Martin Larsson in the late 90s and scored some impressive reviews from NME upon their first album release, Lesser Matters in 2003. For this tour they were backing their newest 2016 album, Running Out of Love, which is their fourth studio album and is a great representation of how The Radio Dept. is able to consistently bust out music within the realms of their niche style they began to perfect back in the early 2000s.
“Swedish Guns” is a clear favorite off their newest record and in the live format the group was able to put on a show with the song in a manner complete with necessary energy yet with the laid back, shoe-gaze nature of The Radio Dept. Actually what makes The Radio Dept. so enticing as a live band and a band on record is their ability to incorporate from so many genres. This is where the keyboards shine as an entirely vital aspect of their somewhat playful sound. Another favorite off their new album has to be “Committed To The Cause,” which has a groove similar to something Thievery Corporation might come out with, matched with a 90s style bass line along the likes of “Cannonball,” by The Breeders. What really makes the song come together is the synth line halfway through – a definite crowd favorite of the night. The chemistry between Duncanson and Larsson is clear on stage as two friends who have been playing together for quite some time are consistently feeding off each other to push and maintain their musical bounds. Sometimes reeling in comparisons to the likes of Pet Shop Boys, The Radio Dept. is a perfect modern, indie, more down tempo version of the 80s legends.
With a duo opener straight from Brooklyn, GERMANS eased the early birds into the night with vocals and bass performing on top of song samples. Their hit song “Cruel” has everything a modern Brooklyn indie band reminiscent of the 80s could ask for.