Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, June 7th, 2023  

Album Reviews

Oriental Beat (40th Anniversary 21st Century The Re(al)mix Edition)

Hanoi Rocks
Oriental Beat (40th Anniversary 21st Century The Re(al)mix Edition)

Jun 07, 2023 Web Exclusive

When one thinks of sleazy rock and roll, one tends not to think of Finland.

Long Cool World

North Americans
Long Cool World

Jun 06, 2023 Web Exclusive

As North Americans, the brainchild of guitarist Patrick McDermott and Barry Walker on pedal steel, the duo create tranquil sonic soundscapes that, on the surface, are languid and meditative instrumental pieces that seem rather unassuming, with most well suited as nature soundtracks or background music.

More Photographs (A Continuum)

Kevin Morby
More Photographs (A Continuum)

Jun 05, 2023 Web Exclusive

In 2022, Kevin Morby released his seventh album, This Is a Photograph. The album’s titular phrase cycles throughout the record.

Comic Book Reviews

Home to Stay!: The Complete Ray Bradbury EC Stories

Home to Stay!: The Complete Ray Bradbury EC Stories

May 02, 2023 Web Exclusive

In 1952 EC publisher Bill Gaines received a hilarious letter from Ray Bradbury gently requesting $50 in payment for the rights to his two stories “The Rocket Man” and “Kaleidoscope.”

Book Reviews

Rebel Soul: Musings, Music, & Magic

Bebe Buell
Rebel Soul: Musings, Music, & Magic

Apr 10, 2023

Bebe Buell has led what seems like a charmed life. In 2001, she published a memoir detailing her exploits, and Rebel Soul is the follow up.


Body Type Discuss Their Second Album “Expired Candy”

Body Type Discuss Their Second Album “Expired Candy”

Jun 02, 2023 Web Exclusive

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound and long-lasting impact on the music sector. Concerts and festivals were cancelled, revenue streams were lost, and tour plans were thrown into disarray as musicians pivoted to online performances.

Succession’s Heirs: Touch Me Gently

Succession’s Heirs: Touch Me Gently

May 27, 2023 Web Exclusive

Succession’s characters often reveal more with their body language than with anything they say. When the siblings gingerly reach out to one another – wary of betrayal, but desperate for validation—their odd gestures convey multitudes.

Pleased to meet you

The Last Dinner Party on Comparisons, Hype, and Their Debut Single “Nothing Matters”

May 24, 2023 Web Exclusive

Picture this: An emerging band creates a collection of exceptional songs that quickly capture the attention of industry professionals. Soon, offers start rolling in, and after securing management and a record deal, the label, who have undoubtedly recognized the band’s enormous potential, begin the process of supporting their development in order to help them achieve that potential.


Under the Radar’s Top 100 Albums of 2022 Part 1

Dec 23, 2022

Are things back to normal in 2022? They are, aren’t they? Well not quite. In the past year we eased out of the pandemic, but COVID-19 is still around and still deadly to some (just look at what’s happening in China, now that their long national lockdown has lifted). The pandemic door has been left ajar, rather than fully closed. We put the chaos for the Trump administration in the rearview only for us to relive it via the very necessary January 6th Commission and the specter of the former president running again in 2024 (if he’s not barred from doing so or even in jail). And while Biden’s administration has been fairly steady and helped lead the Democrats to an unexpectedly strong showing in the midterm elections, over in the UK chaos has reigned with no less than three different prime ministers in one year (Liz Truss being the shortest serving prime ministers in British history), the death of the Queen, strikes across the country, and a recent poll having a majority of Brits admitting that Brexit was a mistake.

Those of us who grew up during the tale end of the Cold War and the beginning of perestroika have not been totally surprised that Russia has become a major adversary to the West again in the last decade, but it was still shocking when Russian President Vladimir Putin followed through with his threats to invade Ukraine. On top of the terrible toll on the Ukrainian people and its extraordinary President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the war has destabilized financial markets worldwide and helped lead to massive inflation, with all this talk from financial experts of a possible recession next year seemingly willing such a thing into existence.

After the last few years of the pandemic and all the political upheaval worldwide, the massive right and left divisions in this country and in others, it leaves one wondering if the events of every single year felt this monumental to our younger selves and to our ancestors. Certainly there have been other eras of even greater turmoil (World War II, the 1960s), but will things ever feel truly normal again?

Musicians continued to find their footing in 2022, with live shows and festivals pretty much back to normal and free of major COVID restrictions. Still, many musicians were finding it more expensive than ever to tour this year, in large part because of inflation, but also because of the unfair financial cuts some venues were taking of merchandise sales. With it being hard for indie artists to make much money from streaming or record sales in recent years, this year touring also became a less reliable source of income, with bands such as Animal Collective cancelling whole tours because they knew they’d lose money. 2022 also saw a slew of albums written and recorded during the pandemic, with some lyrics betraying their lockdown inspiration. Ben Gibbard, for example, sang about missing strangers on Death Cab For Cutie’s return-to-form, Asphalt Meadows, a lyric likely written at a time when interacting with strangers could prove deadly.

Asphalt Meadows lands at #12 on Under the Radar’s Top 100 Albums of 2022 list. Prior to June 2021, we had never even heard of the band that made it to #1 on our list, so meteoric was their rise. The rest of the list is filled with some familiar faces to be sure, but some other debut albums are peppered throughout our Top 100. To arrive at such a list, 23 of our writers and editors (including myself and my co-publisher/wife Wendy Redfern) submitted ballots of their 45 favorite albums of 2022, listed in order of preference from first to last. They were submitted via a Google Sheets spreadsheet that helped tabulate the eventual list. An album had to be picked by at least three or four writers to make the list (19 of our writers had our #1 album on their list and it was the clear winner of the vote, getting 100 more points than our #2). Then we worked out the Top 94 albums and held a separate vote to determine which albums should round out the bottom six, with our writers deciding between 21 albums that could make the bottom of the list. Some albums that almost made the list include (in no particular order) ones by GIFT, Tomberlin, Crack Cloud, Broken Bells, Skullcrusher, Sam Prekop and John McEntire, Just Mustard, Florence + The Machine, Warpaint, Cheekface, The Weeknd, Maggie Rogers, Craig Finn, The Orielles, and My Idea. Consider those honorable mentions.

As the next year dawns, I’ve already heard some January to March albums that will surely make our Top 100 Albums of 2023 list. It’s already shaping up to be another great year for new music. But it’s been exhausting living through history, so can 2023 please just be a boring year?

Live reviews

Neighbourhood Weekender, Warrington, UK, May 27-28, 2023

Neighbourhood Weekender, Warrington, UK, May 27-28, 2023

Jun 04, 2023 By Andy Von Pip

Under the Radar went to the Neighbourhood Weekender, didn’t get to shoot Pulp from the pit but saw some great new musical talents nonetheless.