Interviews | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, May 24th, 2024  


Surf City

Jul 31, 2009 Surf City

Sure, it’s easy to pin down the provenance of Auckland, New Zealand act Surf City’s self-titled debut EP. There are delectable dashes of Pavement-style melodies, nods to the roughshod pop of the ’80s Flying Nun roster, and elements of the stomping tribal rhythms of Animal Collective. The band’s frontman Davin Stoddard admits this, but he’s unapologetic. “Those are all bands we’re into, a common thread among us all. A song like ‘Dickshakers Union,’ we got the idea from Animal Collective, and thought it was a great song. Some people said, ‘fuck, this sounds just like Animal Collective,’ and others said, ‘we dig it, it’s a great pop song.’”

It Hugs Back

Jul 17, 2009 Winter 2009 - Anticipated Albums of 2009

Kent, England’s It Hugs Back make smart, positive indie rock that waves back to the major Matador Records and Merge Records acts of the early ’90s while moving forward in exciting new directions. After settling on their name with some advice from Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon (after a chance meeting at the Tate Modern in London), the band has slowly built up speed with an increasingly interesting series of releases that recall the intelligence, charm, and humor of acts like Teenage Fanclub and Pavement.

Passion Pit

Jul 10, 2009 Winter 2009 - Anticipated Albums of 2009

“There’s a way to write a love song differently… there’re so many different kinds of love songs. And I think specifically with this album, this album is a lot about love and a lot about… finding the antidote to misery,” says Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos. He then adds with a chuckle, “There’s no reason why you shouldn’t embrace love as an antidote to your problems when you are a depressed, miserable person.”

The Phantom Band

Jul 03, 2009 Winter 2009 - Anticipated Albums of 2009

From their nebulous beginnings as cut-up pranksters, employing Felliniesque stage prop stunts like stairmasters and smoke-breathing wolf heads as well as an extemporaneous set of band names (NRA, Robert Redford, Tower of Girls), the wildly eclectic Glaswegian sextet The Phantom Band have gradually metamorphosed into a proper band and settled on the appropriately elusive moniker. Now they’ve got a great debut LP, Checkmate Savage, to show for it.

Music Go Music

Jun 22, 2009 Music Go Music

This is what we know about Music Go Music: The band is based in Los Angeles. It has recorded nine songs over three EPs, incorporating elements of disco, Carpenters-esque soft rock, prog, and even metal, all the while sticking to a heavily melodic pop format. Its first single, the ultra-catchy “Light of Love,” has earned well-deserved comparisons to ABBA. And the band consists of three players who mysteriously refer to themselves as Kamer Maza, Gala Bell, and the über-capitalized, one-named TORG.


Jun 17, 2009 Kwes

London-based producer and music artist Kwes has a thing for a good cup of tea. He enjoys drinking the stuff so much that since last July, he has released a steady stream of mixtapes, each named and inspired by the taste and aroma of a particular blend: “Lapsang Souchong,” “Earl Grey,” “Lady Grey,” “Illegal Tea,” and “Rooibos.” Even his own compositions—such as his personal favorite to date, “Rich Tea”—can’t escape the influence of the throat-soothing beverage.

The Big Pink

Jun 11, 2009 The Big Pink

West Londoners Milo Cordell and Robbie Furze already have The Big Pink’s sound sorted out. “We want to sound like an apocalypse of love harps coming towards you,” Cordell stresses. “We want everything to be so emotional but so brutal at the same time. There’s noise, but we like to talk about pink noise. I want it to sound like a girlfriend that loves and hates you so much that they want to put a big pillow over your head.”

Rose Elinor Dougall

Jun 04, 2009 Rose Elinor Dougall

Milestones in life tend to be linked with their corresponding dates. For Rose Elinor Dougall, July 17, 2006 saw the release of her band The Pipettes’ unforgettable debut. At just 20 years old, Dougall cradled an indie-pop treasure in her hands. We Are the Pipettes recalled singles-oriented ’60s girl groups with stunning grace.

Project Jenny, Project Jan

Apr 24, 2009 Web Exclusive

Jeremy Haines, the Brooklyn electro-pop vocalist of Project Jenny, Project Jan (PJPJ) never stops daydreaming, even when he and programmer/keyboardist Sammy Rubin are holed up in the most unimaginative of places: a stuffy Days Inn. Haines, who also creates much of the vibrant artwork for the duo’s website and albums, is doodling on the hotel room stationery: “I’m actually drawing this woman-man. Looks a lot like Cathy from the comic strip, except with the worst haircut and she’s looking at this strange mutant Kermit the Frog character, or maybe the Salt Flats of Utah.” Such gonzo cartoons come closer to describing PJPJ’s sound than laborious R.I.Y.L. lists or the latest silly genre invented by a critic: laptop rock.