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Issue #67

Issue #67 - Phoebe Bridgers and Moses Sumney

Sep 04, 2020

Under the Radar is excited to announce the full details of our new print issue, which is out now nationwide (on newsstands, in such stores as Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, and elsewhere) and available to buy directly from us here. The issue features Phoebe Bridgers and Moses Sumney on the two covers. Issue 67 was originally supposed to come out in late May/early June, but was postponed and slightly retooled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The issue also features an in-depth article on the current state of the music industry that incorporates interviews with Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, Lucy Dacus, Shamir, Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, Hrishikesh Hirway of Song Exploder, Japanese Breakfast, Murray Lightburn, Zane Lowe of Beats 1, Robb Nansel of Saddle Creek Records, Amanda Palmer, Kevin Barnes of of Montreal, Simon Raymonde of Belle Union and Cocteau Twins, Puja Patel of Pitchfork, and many others. Plus there is a piece on how and when the live music industry might return from the pandemic.

The issue also features interviews with Perfume Genius, Jarvis Cocker, Doves, Ben Gibbard, Tim Burgess, Hinds, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Bob Mould, Muzz, Protomartyr, Jehnny Beth, Jónsi, Madeline Kenney, I Break Horses, Khruangbin, Kelly Lee Owens, I LIKE TRAINS, The Beths, Bright Eyes, Deradoorian, The Dears, Jess Williamson, Dehd, Oceanator, Bartees Strange, Westerman, and several others.


Phoebe Bridgers

The first of our two cover stories is on Phoebe Bridgers. Matt Fink spoke in depth with Bridgers about her acclaimed new album, Punisher. The article incorporates interviews with not only PBridgers, but also her Better Oblivion Community Center bandmate and Bright Eyes’ frontman Conor Oberst, as well as her boygenius bandmate Lucy Dacus, Phil Waldorf (head of her label Dead Oceans), her drummer Marshall Vore, her guitarist Harrison Whitford, fellow singer/songwriter and collaborator Christian Lee Hutson, and producer Tony Berg.

Koury Angelo photographed Bridgers for the cover exclusively for Under the Radar in Los Angeles.

“I feel shitty and lucky every day. It’s the weirdest.” – Phoebe Bridgers

“Being able to tour with my friends for a living is insane. I really do have things that I wanted my whole life.” – Phoebe Bridgers

“You can’t escape yourself.” – Phoebe Bridgers

“Sometimes I don’t feel like opening up about stuff [to my fans], but then I’m like, ‘I kind of asked for it.’ Sometimes I’ll feel like someone hacked into my phone and then again, I’m like, ‘Oh, all they did was listen to my music.’” – Phoebe Bridgers

“Girls would come up to me on tour and be like, ‘Oh my God, I’m so fucking depressed, exactly like you. Isn’t that cute?’ And I’d say, ‘No. Are you okay?’” – Phoebe Bridgers

“It’s a fine line between overly funny and overly sincere.” – Phoebe Bridgers

“I’ve watched her learn other people’s songs backstage in three minutes and then walk on stage and sing it better than they’ve ever sung it in their lives. So she has this natural talent that is really uncanny.” – Conor Oberst

(Phoebe Bridgers photos by Koury Angelo)

Moses Sumney

For our second cover story, Celine Teo-Blockey spoke in-depth to Moses Sumney about his acclaimed new album græ. Under the Radar’s Co-Publisher Wendy Lynch Redfern traveled to Asheville, NC to photograph Sumeny at and near his home (in a socially distant, safe way).

“So much of this record and my life, I’m learning about trying to seek freedom.” – Moses Sumney

“I actually don’t really wanna write about protest. I don’t really want to write about political stuff.” – Moses Sumney

“I like the subtle ways in which græ engages with race, and the cerebral ways that it does it, and I think that it suits me for now.” – Moses Sumney

“I feel like I did enough esoteric, weird music. I’ve done enough lyrical posturing that it will be nice to say ‘baby’ in a song.” – Moses Sumney

(Moses Sumney photos by Wendy Lynch Redfern)


The front-of-book Detection section features interviews with Jehnny Beth, Bright Eyes, Jarvis Cocker, Dehd, Deradoorian, Doves, Hinds, I Break Horses, I LIKE TRAINS, Jónsi, Madeline Kenney, Khruangbin, Bob Mould, Muzz, Kelly Lee Owens, Protomartyr, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, The Beths, The Dears, and Jess Williamson. We also speak to Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Tim Burgess of The Charlatans about being quarantine overachievers, Gibbard for his livestreamed concerts and Burgess for his Twitter listening parties.

“There was an urgency within me to do something new as an artist, and not worry about the normal fears attached to it—of how other people might perceive it.” – Jehnny Beth

“I’m never truly comfortable just being happy and being completely content with where I’m at.” – Elizabeth Stokes of The Beths

“When I was 12, I was writing songs about video games and stuff like that. And now I’m writing songs about friends passing away.” – Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes

“I know at the moment we can’t physically stand next to each other but we can share an experience.” – Tim Burgess of The Charlatans

“The whole thing about a concert is that everyone is kind of squished together, and that kind of unity of a crowd. I don’t know when we’re going to get a chance to do that again.” – Jarvis Cocker of JARV IS…

“What we do it’s not for everyone. It’s for a very specific person at a very specific point in their lives.” – Murray Lightburn of The Dears

“We didn’t want [the album] to be about our breakup because that happened a million years ago.” – Emily Kempf of Dehd

“If I want to live in this world, I need to find some semblance of peace, and that can only happen inside myself.” – Angel Deradoorian

“I’ve had quite a few up and down days over the past few weeks with the state of the bloody world. Part of me wondered if this record was really important right now?” – Jimi Goodwin of Doves

“This is kind of a bold statement, but I haven’t felt that things are flowing this well since I was writing Transatlanticism and Give Up at the same time.” – Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie

“Nowadays everyone is releasing a new song every fucking week. It’s such a hectic way of consuming music.” – Ana Perrote of Hinds

“My computer crashed completely. So, I lost two years’ worth of work and felt broken.” – Maria Lindén of I Break Horses

“I didn’t want to make a record people thought we were going to make.” – David Martin of I LIKE TRAINS

“Sometimes when you’re with yourself too much, you get too stuck in your head or stuck in a rut.” – Jónsi

“When you realize you can actually be in a good, healthy relationship, you’re like, ‘Holy shit! What? Is this possible?’” – Madeline Kenney

“Touring is a drug. You play a show, there’s adrenaline rushing around. You wake up the next morning with your comedown and you play another show.” – Laura Lee Ochoa of Khruangbin

“Old white men have got to let go of power and hope that it works out for the best, and I know it will.” – Bob Mould

“You have no idea when you make these songs how it will resonate in the world because the world will be different by the time the song arrives.” – Josh Kaufman of Muzz

“We can dance and become more socially conscious.” – Kelly Lee Owens

“You actually want to try to change the sound as much as possible, but not so much that it becomes ridiculous.” – Joe Casey of Protomartyr

“When bands move to other places, it’s like they’re trying to let the city they’re moving to do the work for them.” – Joe White of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

“I’m realizing I was really letting my life pass me by, so I’m enjoying this time to pause and reflect on what really matters.” – Jess Williamson

(Jarvis Cocker photo by Ray Lego)

(I Break Horses photo by James Loveday)

(Jess Williamson photo by Ian Maddox)

(Deradoorian photo by Ian Maddox)


Our Pleased to Meet You new bands section highlights these exciting new artists: Oceanator, Porridge Radio, Sorry, Bartees Strange, and Westerman.

“I’m not trying to glorify the ’90s but there’s a lot of music that came out then that makes me feel, personally, very comfortable and happy.” – Elise Okusami of Oceanator

“On this album it feels like we are genre-hopping again, but we are four different people so we do all bring our own influences to the table when we record.” – Dana Margolin of Porridge Radio

“We hope that the album can bring people some solace and comfort during these unprecedented times.” – Louis O’Bryen of Sorry

“People want to put a label on you if you’re Black and you make beats. It’s easier to be digested as a one-dimensional beat maker but I also play country music and I love hardcore music and I’ve played it all.” – Bartees Strange

“Most of the music I write, nobody ever hears. I end up discarding a lot of it, before finally reaching a place of honesty, and something worth releasing.” – Westerman

(Oceanator photo by Ray Lego)


Our main features section includes a four-page interview and photo shoot with Perfume Genius on his acclaimed new album Set My Heart on Fire Immediately.

“There’s no shortage of feelings with me.” – Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius

“I wanted the music to have performance in it and I wanted the recording to feel like a performance.” – Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius

In the fall of 2019, we began a series of interviews with the intention of examining the changes in the music industry over the previous decade. A number of lines of inquiry were identified—How do musicians make a living in 2020? What do the words “indie rock” mean now? How do record labels survive when no one buys records anymore? What role does the media play in all of this?—and a series of musicians, record label heads, music media figures, and other assorted movers and shakers were chosen because of their unique proximity to the topics being explored. Then, right in the middle of data collection, a completely unforeseen event threatened to undermine the assumptions underlying those original questions and new questions emerged. How will musicians make a living if touring is impossible? Now that the industry has been forced to pause, are there ways to rebuild it in more equitable ways? Will streaming help save the music industry or hasten its demise? The answers provide a snapshot of a decade where everything changed, then changed again.

For the music industry article we interviewed Kevin Barnes of of Montreal, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, Lucy Dacus, Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, Hrishikesh Hirway of Song Exploder, Japanese Breakfast, Murray Lightburn, Zane Lowe of Beats 1, Robb Nansel of Saddle Creek Records, Amanda Palmer, Shamir, Simon Raymonde of Belle Union and Cocteau Twins, Courtney Taylor-Taylor of The Dandy Warhols, Puja Patel of Pitchfork, Carrie Colliton of Record Store Day, Jim DeRogatis of Sound Opinions, Jessi Frick of Father/Daughter Records, Josh Jackson of Paste Magazine, Magdalena Jensen of the Keychange Initiative, Scott Lapatine of Stereogum, Eric Miller of Magnet Magazine, music publicist Rey Roldan, Cameron Schaefer of Vinyl Me, Please, and Zena White of Partisan Records.

“In a lot of ways, I feel like [Pitchfork] destroyed the indie community by taking the mainstream music seriously and pretending as if it’s real music and pretending that Selena Gomez deserves a higher score than a Deerhoof record.” – Kevin Barnes of of Montreal

“I think we care about the indie spirit and the idea of someone who is an artist more than we necessarily care about adhering to any strict genre.” – Puja Patel of Pitchfork

“One song, for whatever reason, is a fucking monumental gold statue that’s going to be here a thousand years from now, and next is a fucking plastic cup that is meant to be slightly disposable. That’s what’s fun about it.” – Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips

“A lot of people ask ‘Am I going to be able to keep this completely awesome job of doing art for money?’ And the answer might not be yes for a lot of people, and it might not be yes for me at some point.” – Lucy Dacus

“I see a lot of artists doing crowdsourcing things and laying it out and putting the onus on fans, like, ‘We can’t make records unless we have money. We can’t sustain ourselves unless we have support.’ It’s almost borderline guilting or bullying.” – Murray Lightburn of The Dears

“I think everybody [in the music industry] has less power than they did 15 or 20 years ago. The labels have less power, the media has less power, retailers have less power.” – Zane Lowe of Beats 1

“I think it’s a great exaggeration to say that Pitchfork made Arcade Fire. I think the first people who would fight that would be the [band’s] Butler brothers. And Lester Bangs didn’t make The Stooges. And Trouser Press didn’t make Elvis Costello.” – Jim DeRogatis of Sound Opinions

“We’re in a streaming world, and what I do is I put out albums. And albums aren’t what people stream. So I’m operating in a market that isn’t that interested in what I’m doing.” – Simon Raymonde of Bella Union

“I didn’t realize how the industry worked, where it’s an if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it type industry when it comes to music-making and not like ‘Follow your heart and creative desires.’ It’s not like that.” – Shamir

“It used to be 15 bucks to buy one record of a band and their 12 current songs, and now that 15 bucks can get you a month and a half of almost any song that you’ve ever heard of.” – Courtney Taylor-Taylor of The Dandy Warhols

“I don’t know what the industry is going to look like after [the pandemic]. I don’t know if a lot of the venues that we like to play will still exist. I don’t know if I’ll still have a job.” – Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast

There’s also an article on how COVID-19 has impacted the live music industry. There are no sweaty mosh pits during the coronavirus pandemic. There is no crowd surfing; no stage diving. There is no live music at all. To state the obvious, the lack of live events are taking a drastic toll on artists and venues. Although the last decade has been “the golden age” of live music, with the virus, mega promoters like Live Nation and AEG are projected to lose almost $5.2 billion. It’s only expected that independent venues and gig workers will bear the burden to the nth degree. In this article, Under the Radar investigates what the inevitable reintroduction of live shows might look like. Can we expect concertgoers to wear masks at punk shows where air is limited and listeners are standing elbow to elbow? Right now, there are more questions than there are answers, so this is our attempt to provide some insight. For the article we interviewed Rev. Moose of National Independent Venue Association, Audrey Fix Schaefer of 9:30 Club, Christine Karayan of Troubadour, Michelle Cable of Panache Booking, Scott Hayward of Tupelo Music Hall, Jay Sweet of The Newport Folk Festival, and Will Larnach-Jones of Iceland Airwaves.

“To be honest, it’s hard to stay motivated at times when you are trying to rebook a tour that you started working on nearly two years ago already, for another year and a half out.” – Michelle Cable of Panache Booking

“There’s no business that can last when you have zero revenue and 100 percent of the overhead.” – Audrey Fix Schaefer of 9:30 Club

“The goal isn’t to make a profit right now; the goal is to get everybody back on the payroll and pay our bills.” – Scott Hayward of Tupelo Music Hall

“It’s so important to try and maintain some positivity and show that some things can be achieved even in these difficult times.” – Will Larnach-Jones of Iceland Airwaves

“Music is the one thing that makes people forget everything else, all of their anger and pain, and it’s the one thing that everybody understands.” – Christine Karayan of Troubadour

“We are talking about a systematic shutdown of an entire industry. We are talking about a potential extinction event of a market sector. It is that bad.” – Rev. Moose of National Independent Venue Association

(Perfume Genius photo by Koury Angelo)


For our regular last page feature, The End, we ask a different artist the same set of questions about endings and death. Jenn Wasner of Flock of Dimes and Wye Oak is this issue’s participant.

“I’m far more afraid of the experience of losing the people I love than I am of dying myself.” – Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak and Flock of Dimes

“There’s a real heaviness to my heart when I start to imagine what a future on this planet might look like for us, human beings, wrecks that we are.” – Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak and Flock of Dimes


Issue 67 has a selection of album reviews, including of the following:

Doves: The Universal Want
The Flaming Lips: American Head
Jónsi: Shiver
Bettye LaVette: Blackbirds
Fenne Lily: BREACH
Loma: Don’t Shy Away
METZ: Atlas Vending
Bob Mould: Blue Hearts
Oceanator: Things I Never Said
Angel Olsen: Whole New Mess
Sad13: Haunted Painting
Working Men’s Club: Woking Men’s Club


Each issue comes with a digital sampler that is a free download and includes up to 38 complimentary MP3s. This issue’s digital sampler includes tracks by:

Alex the Astronaut
The Beths
Phoebe Bridgers
Bright Eyes
Tim Burgess
The Dears
Flock of Dimes
I Break Horses
Alex Izenberg
Jaguar Jonze
Jenny O.
Madeline Kenney
Moses Sumney
Bob Mould
Nation of Language
Kelly Lee Owens
Lido Pimienta
Porridge Radio
St. South
Bartees Strange
Suit of Lights
Jess Williamson
Wye Oak


The digital version of the issue (for iPads, iPhones, Macs, and PCs) also features extra interviews not found in the print magazine, as well as additional full-page photos from our photo shoots for the issue.

The digital magazine features additional interviews with Austra, Tim Burgess, Fenne Lily, Moaning, NZCA LINES, and PINS. Plus there are extended music industry Q&As with Japanese Breakfast, Zane Lowe, and Shamir.

Click here to buy the print version of the issue.

Click here to subscribe to the print version of Under the Radar.

Click here to support us on Patreon.

Austra on “HiRUDiN”
Bartees Strange on His Debut Album
Ben Gibbard on His “Live From Home” Livestream Concerts and “Life in Quarantine”
Bob Mould on “Blue Hearts”
Bright Eyes on “Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was”
Dehd on “Flower of Devotion”
Doves on “The Universal Want”
Fenne Lily on “BREACH”
Hinds on “The Prettiest Curse”
I LIKE TRAINS on “Kompromat”
Jarvis Cocker on JARV IS… and Their Debut Album “Beyond the Pale”
Jess Williamson on “Sorceress”
Jónsi on “Shiver”
Kelly Lee Owens on “Inner Song”
Khruangbin on “Mordechai”
Madeline Kenney on “Sucker’s Lunch”
Oceanator on “Things I Never Said”
Perfume Genius on “Set My Heart on Fire Immediately”
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on “Sideways to New Italy”
Self-Portrait: NZCA LINES
Shamir on Navigating the Music Industry
The Beths on “Jump Rope Gazers”
The Dears on “Lovers Rock”
The End: Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak and Flock of Dimes
Tim Burgess of The Charlatans on His Twitter Listening Parties
Tim Burgess on “I Love the Sky”
Westerman on “Your Hero Is Not Dead”


American Head
Atlas Vending
Blue Hearts
Don’t Shy Away
Haunted Painting
The Universal Want