Under the Radar Announces Special 20th Anniversary Double Issue | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, January 19th, 2022  

Under the Radar Announces Special 20th Anniversary Double Issue

Issue 69 Has Two Cover Group Shots Featuring Grandaddy, CHVRCHES, Kamasi Washington, Bat For Lashes, Weyes Blood, The Divine Comedy, Elbow, Nilüfer Yanya, Miki Berenyi, The Horrors, and Rose Elinor Dougall

Dec 21, 2021 Photography by Koury Angelo and Derrick Santini
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Under the Radar is excited to announce the full details of our new print issue, which is our special 20th Anniversary Issue. It’s a double issue celebrating two decades of the magazine (our first issue came out in December 2001).

The issue has shipped out to subscribers and stores and can now be bought from us directly here. The issue will also be available to purchase nationwide (on newsstands, in such stores as Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, and elsewhere) starting in early January (the official street date is January 12, 2022, but some stores will receive it before then).

The issue features two special covers, each featuring a different group of musicians together. One was photographed in Los Angeles by Koury Angelo and features Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry, Kamasi Washington, Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan, and Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering all together. Grandaddy was on the cover of our very first issue.

The other cover was photographed in London by Derrick Santini and features The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, Elbow’s Guy Garvey, Nilüfer Yanya, Miki Berenyi of Lush and Piroshka, Faris Badwan of The Horrors, and Rose Elinor Dougall. The Divine Comedy was on the cover of our second issue, way back in 2002.

Each cover artist is also interviewed in the issue, meaning there are 11 cover stories.

For the issue we also conducted brand new interviews with some of the artists interviewed in our first issue in 2001, including Ladytron, Doves, Mogwai, Black Box Recorder, The Charlatans, and Idlewild.

There’s also an in-depth article on the recording of Elliott Smith’s From a Basement on a Hill, where we spoke to two of the producers involved in that album, Rob Schnapf and David McConnell, as Under the Radar was the last magazine to interview Smith before his tragic death. It features previously unpublished frames from Smith’s final photo shoot, which was conducted by our Co-Publisher/Co-Founder Wendy Lynch Redfern.

The centerpiece of the 20th Anniversary Issue is a six-page article written by Under the Radar Co-Publisher/Co-Founder/Senior Editor Mark Redfern about the secret origins of Under the Radar, detailing how the magazine got started and its early days, as well as chronicling a brief history of the publication. It includes quotes from some of our writers and personal photos from Mark and Wendy.

We also celebrate the albums, movies, and TV shows of 2001, one that are also celebrating their 20th anniversary. And there’s a 12-page section where our writers reflect on some of our favorite albums from the last two decades, albums that helped define Under the Radar.

The issue also features regular interviews with The War on Drugs, Cate Le Bon, Let’s Eat Grandma, Wet Leg, Magdalena Bay, Metronomy, Snail Mail, Parquet Courts, alt-J, Cat Power, Tears for Fears, Courtney Barnett, and others.

Photo by Koury Angelo
Photo by Koury Angelo

Photo by Derrick Santini
Photo by Derrick Santini

COVER STORIES

The issue features in-depth cover story interviews with 11 different artists: Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry, Kamasi Washington, Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan, Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering, The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, Elbow’s Guy Garvey, Nilüfer Yanya, Miki Berenyi of Lush and Piroshka, Faris Badwan of The Horrors, and Rose Elinor Dougall.

Bat For Lashes (Photo by Koury Angelo)
Bat For Lashes (Photo by Koury Angelo)
CHVRCHES (Photo by Koury Angelo)
CHVRCHES (Photo by Koury Angelo)
Nilüfer Yanya (Photo by Derrick Santini)
Nilüfer Yanya (Photo by Derrick Santini)
The Horrors (Photo by Derrick Santini)
The Horrors (Photo by Derrick Santini)
Kamasi Washington (Photo by Koury Angelo)
Kamasi Washington (Photo by Koury Angelo)

“It’s an industry that at times seems to only celebrate the commercially successful artists. However, we need to support and develop the ones who think outside the box, the innovators, the ones who ask questions.” – Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes

“I do think when your children can see their parents achieve things, they can feel it’s a bit more in touching distance for them as well.” – Miki Berenyi of Lush and Piroshka

“The record is about the fucking panic attacks you have in a hotel room when somebody sends you a picture of the outside of a venue and says that at a certain time you’re going to get killed.” – Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES

“My daughter is more in the loop than I am [on current music], so sometimes I have to ask her, which is embarrassing. I have to say, ‘I was a bloody pop star. I should know more about it than you!’” – Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy

“It never fails to amaze me how things happen and the amazing miraculous redemptive power of music.” – Rose Elinor Dougall

“I get seriously cranky if I’ve not written anything in a couple weeks. I feel like I’m wasting the opportunities I’ve been given.” – Guy Garvey of Elbow

“I think one of the most well-known notables that became a big fan was David Bowie. He actually came to a few of the shows and hung out backstage, and he was really awesome.” – Jason Lytle of Grandaddy

“I feel like we’re a little bit of an anomaly in some ways; we’ve never really been part of a scene with loads of other bands.” – Faris Badwan of The Horrors

“When I switched to saxophone. I just felt like I found my voice. That’s when I fell in love with music.” – Kamasi Washington

“The last record was like an alarm signal, and this next one is two years after the alarm has been blaring and just seeing where we are at.” – Natalie Mering of Weyes Blood

“[When I was growing up] I feel like the face of music and the industry was just literally white male bands.” – Nilüfer Yanya

DETECTION

Cate Le Bon (Photo by Koury Angelo)
Cate Le Bon (Photo by Koury Angelo)

Let's Eat Grandma (Photo by James Loveday)
Let’s Eat Grandma (Photo by James Loveday)

The front-of-book Detection section features interviews with: Cate Le Bon, Snail Mail, Parquet Courts, Courtney Barnett, alt-J, Cat Power, Tears for Fears, The War on Drugs, and Let’s Eat Grandma.

“I think our music has always had a dreamlike quality, whether that’s a good dream or a bad dream.” – Gus Unger-Hamilton of alt-J

“I wanted to do the album in a different way.” – Courtney Barnett

“It’s almost like songs, to me, are a mirror. They illuminate. I like the way they illuminate parts of me that need to be seen.” – Chan Marshall of Cat Power

“I have always got these ideas of, you know, when I make a record, I want to go somewhere and I want to put myself in a vacuum and I don’t want to be disturbed.” – Cate Le Bon

“I was suffering from a kind of wordless grief which I found very isolating. I found it really difficult to express how I felt.” – Jenny Hollingworth of Let’s Eat Grandma

“We’ve known each other since we were four and our friendship runs much deeper [than the band].” – Rosa Walton of Let’s Eat Grandma

Sympathy for Life is about caring for your community.” – Austin Brown of Parquet

“I don’t like eyes or ears on me when I’m fleshing out lyrics. I want to be completely uninfluenced by people around me—I don’t want a reaction that’s good or bad.” – Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail

“If you were an act that was image-based in the ’80s, did videos on yachts, and you make another record when you’re 60—what are you trying to say? Because there are kids who do it far, far better. Pop belongs to youth.” – Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears

“I never consider myself anything but lucky in every way.” – Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs

PLEASED TO MEET YOU

Magdalena Bay (Photo by Wendy Lynch Redfern)
Magdalena Bay (Photo by Wendy Lynch Redfern)
Geese (Photo by Ray Lego)
Geese (Photo by Ray Lego)

Our Pleased to Meet You new bands section highlights these exciting new artists: Magdalena Bay, W.H. Lung, Yard Act, Wet Leg, and Geese.

“We have a lot of fun live and it’s a bit more unhinged. The record sounds pretty tame in comparison.” – Gus Green of Geese

“We just learned to make pop music as we were doing it. It wasn’t like we started and said, ‘Oh my God! We’re so good at this. It’s what we’re meant for.’” – Matthew Lewin of Magdalena Bay

“We didn’t identify as visual artists nine years ago. But now it’s a big part of what we do.” – Mica Tenenbaum of Magdalena Bay

“A lot of our friends were in bands and you could see them taking it really seriously because they wanted it so, so much. But that can often take all the fun out of it.” – Rhian Teasdale of Wet Leg

“Rhian actually wrote all the lyrics to ‘Chaise Longue’ sitting on [my granddad’s] chaise longue.” – Hester Chambers of Wet Leg

“There’s a risk of getting wrapped up in everything that surrounds making music when you’re a new band. But you discover who you are, and what will eventually surround you, by writing loads of songs. – Joe Evans of W.H. Lung

“At its core I’m still trying to document people over politics.” – James Smith of Yard Act

20TH ANNIVERSARY

Covers of Covers: Inside Under the Radar’s First Album

Under the Radar has partnered with American Laundromat Records to put together our first ever album, Covers of Covers, where musicians have covered any song by any artist that has appeared on the cover of our print magazine before. One dollar from every physical copy or full album download sold will go to the musician’s charity Sweet Relief. In this article we have quotes from every artist on the album about why they chose their song and how they went about their cover.

“We’re very happy to be included in celebrating Under the Radar magazine as we’ve been big fans for over a decade now. I’m looking back, UTR might have been our first time our music was ever printed about in a magazine, which was an amazing and bizarre out of body moment.” – Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion of Cults

“I always get a kick out of picking apart a song I like, learning it and maybe recording a version. It’s rarely a waste of time, from a songwriter-perspective. You always learn something new.” – Sondre Lerche

“I was sent a list of artists I could cover and Angel Olsen instantly jumped out to me. Her music fascinates me and I have always been drawn to the enigmatic aura of her song ‘Acrobat.’” – C Duncan

“Covers are a great way for me to experiment with sounds, palettes, and people I want to work with, without the weight of my songs being at the helm.” – Cassandra Jenkins

“I chose to do an Elliott Smith song for this cover because I have a very strong memory of reading that last interview with Elliott and there’s always a lingering Elliott—Under the Radar connection in the back of my mind.” – Elise Okusami of Oceanator

“I believe that Joanna Newsom is one of the most important artists of my generation.” – Timothy Showalter of Strand of Oaks

“When Under the Radar approached us to take part in this compilation, we loved the sound of the project. Looking through the list of artists who had featured on their covers we found it really difficult to choose as it was crammed with so many bands and people who influenced us hugely.” – Poppy Hankin of Girl Ray

“This song reminds me of a person I used to be in love with.” – Erika M. Anderson of EMA

“I got approached about taking part in this compilation just as the sixth Melbourne lockdown set in. I was feeling pretty bummed and lost with an abundance of time at my disposal. Needless to say, I was so grateful to be asked by Under the Radar to ‘pick any song by any one of these artists—all of whom you fucking love—and cover it however you like.’ Fuck yeah, let’s go!” – Alex Lahey

Covers That Never Were

We highlight some of the unused cover photos and cover designs from the last 10 years.

2001: Albums, Movies, and TV shows Also Turning 20

Our writers look back on albums, movies, and TV shows from 2001 that are also celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.

Albums That Defined Under the Radar

To celebrate our 20th anniversary we have highlighted the albums that have helped define Under the Radar over those years, starting with albums released in 2000 as the initial seeds for the magazine were being planted and stretching all the way to 2021. This is not a definitive list of the best albums of the last two decades, nor is it a complete list of our favorites. Instead it’s a collection of albums that meant something to us for one reason or another.

The Second Draft of History: Inside Elliott Smith’s Recording of From a Basement on the Hill

The Second Draft of History: Inside Elliott Smith’s Recording of From a Basement on the Hill is an article on the recording of Elliott Smith’s From a Basement on a Hill, where we spoke to two of the producers involved in that album, Rob Schnapf and David McConnell. McConnell worked on the album with Smith before his death and Schnapf helped finish the album after Smith’s passing. Under the Radar was the last magazine to interview Smith before his tragic death, going into the studio with him while he was recording From a Basement on a Hill. The article features previously unpublished frames from Smith’s final photo shoot, which was conducted by our Co-Publisher/Co-Founder Wendy Lynch Redfern.

“I just remember this one song. And it’s a beautiful piece of music, and you know exactly what he was going to do, but he just never got to do it.” – Rob Schnapf

“He really did care what people thought about him, despite what I’ve heard people say. And he was definitely a very sensitive person, like a lot of creative people are.” – David McConnell

Love and Dancing: The Secret Origin of Under the Radar

We present the partially untold secret origin of how Under the Radar came to be and why it has stuck around for two decades. Written by Under the Radar Co-Publisher/Co-Founder/Senior Editor Mark Redfern, the article chronicles how Mark and his now wife (as well as Co-Publisher/Co-Founder) Wendy Lynch Redfern first met and how that led to Under the Radar’s first issue a year later. It features personal behind-the-scenes photos by Mark and Wendy, as well as quotes from some of our writers about the magazine, including on some of their most memorable moments from conducting interviews for Under the Radar.

FIRST ISSUE REVISITED

As part of our 20th anniversary coverage we thought it would be interesting to conduct brand new interviews with some of the artists interviewed in our very first issue way back in December 2001. We weren’t able to talk to everyone for a variety of reasons, but we did catch up with Ladytron, Doves, Mogwai, Black Box Recorder, The Charlatans, and Idlewild.

“Now, in the era of social media, with people filming your every move, I would come to despise [fame].” – Sarah Nixey of Black Box Recorder

“We never had a master plan [for our career].” – Tim Burgess of The Charlatans

“We were trying to create something honest. I think that’s what people connected with.” – Andy Williams of Doves

“We had no aspirations to be famous or to be stars. We wanted to be in a band that appealed to music fans.” – Roddy Woomble of Idlewild

“Personally, [604] has a naivety that I’d never be able to recreate. I guess that in itself is a charm. There is a delicacy in the way I sang.” – Helen Marnie of Ladytron

“Electroclash was someone else’s idea, in which we were included, and we didn’t willingly play along.” – Daniel Hunt of Ladytron

“I think the UK government take the arts for granted.” – Mogwai

THE END

For our regular last page feature, The End, we ask a different artist the same set of questions about endings and death. Joseph Mount of Metronomy is this issue’s participant.

“[Heaven is] a TV streaming service with just one incredible film choice that you’ve never seen before. It’s a smart phone with never ending battery life. It’s a place where Metronomy is number one in the charts all year round.” – Joseph Mount of Metronomy

REVIEWS

Issue 68 has a selection of album reviews, including of the following:

A Place to Bury Strangers: See Through You
Damon Albarn: The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows
Arca: KICK
Band of Horses: Things Are Great
Courtney Barnett: Things Take Time, Take Time
Beach House: Once Twice Melody
Big Thief: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
Black Country, New Road: Ants From Up There
BODEGA: Broken Equipment
CAN: Live in Brighton 1975
Cat Power: Covers
Cate Le Bon: Pompeii
Let’s Eat Grandma: Two Ribbons
Mitski: Laurel Hell
Pinegrove: 11:11
Punch Brothers: Hell on Church Street
Radiohead: Kid A Mnesia
Lee Ranaldo: In Virus Times
SASAMI: Squeeze
Sea Power: Everything Was Forever
Shamir: Heterosexuality
Silverbacks: Archive Material
Snail Mail: Valentine
Soft Cell: Happiness Not Included
Tears for Fears: The Tipping Point
Yard Act: The Overload

DIGITAL SAMPLER

Each issue comes with a digital sampler that is a free download and includes up to 39 complimentary MP3s. This issue’s digital sampler includes tracks by:

A Place to Bury Strangers
Absolutely Free
Aeon Station
All We Are
Boy Harsher
C Duncan
Cate Le Bon
Coco
Crayon
The Divine Comedy
The Dodos
Ducks Ltd.
Fruit Bats
Geese
Gone to Color
Imarhan
Indigo De Souza
Jameson Burt
Let’s Eat Grandma
Lionlimb
Magdalena Bay
Makthaverskan
Mark and the Tiger
Penelope Isles
Pip Blom
Piroshka
Public Service Broadcasting
Roedelius & Story
Sally Shapiro
Sam Evian
SASAMI
Silverbacks
Single Girl, Married Girl
Starflyer 59
Tim Napalm & the Inflatable Baptists
Tonstartssbandht
W.H. Lung
Yard Act
Yumi Zouma

DIGITAL MAGAZINE

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, including more protest sign photos.

The digital magazine features additional interviews with Aeon Station and Nation of Language, as well as Q&As with some of our writers where they reflect on the 20th Anniversary of Under the Radar.

“The first time my heart was broken was when Tom Baker (Doctor Who) regenerated. I was so torn up about it.” – Kevin Whelan of Aeon Station

“I’ve always liked writing about yearning or nostalgia or things that have been lost that can’t be gotten back.” – Ian Richard Devaney of Nation of Language

Click here to buy the print or digital version of the issue.

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

Click here to support us on Patreon.



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