Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, June 1st, 2023  

Album Reviews


Miya Folick

Jun 01, 2023 Web Exclusive

Finding zen through chaos should be Miya Folick’s default setting. Half-Japanese and half Russian, she grew up a Buddhist, visiting temples with her mother in Santa Ana, California.

Early Singles: 1995-1999

The Donnas
Early Singles: 1995-1999

May 31, 2023 Web Exclusive

For Record Store Day, Real Gone Music released this compilation of The Donnas’ early singles, a hodgepodge of raw high school bratty punk anthems, and cover tunes that provides the perfect complement to the band’s seven full length albums.

Syria Mosque: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 17, 1971

The Allman Brothers Band
Syria Mosque: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 17, 1971

May 30, 2023 Web Exclusive

With this recording of The Allman Brothers Band at the Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh on 1/17/71, those involved with the band’s legacy continue their fantastic job at preserving ABB live shows with spectacular sound and precision.

Classic Interviews

John Grant

John Grant
Love and Laughter

Jan 15, 2016 John Grant

Since going solo in 2010 after a long stint with the Denver alternative rock band The Czars, John Grant‘s hit the roll of his life. 2010’s Queen of Denmark and 2013’s Pale Green Ghosts exhibit Grant’s arresting command of pop’s rich vocabulary, rife with crisp orchestration and impeccable electro-pop structures.

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.


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.

The End: Elizabeth Stokes of The Beths

The End: Elizabeth Stokes of The Beths

May 26, 2023

To conclude the week, we ask Elizabeth Stokes of The Beths some questions about endings and death.

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

Caroline Polachek @ CONTENT, Liverpool, UK, May 26, 2023

Caroline Polachek @ CONTENT, Liverpool, UK, May 26, 2023

May 31, 2023 By Andy Von Pip

Caroline Polachek played brand new Liverpool venue CONTENT last weekend and Under the Radar were there to witness it.


David Bowie – Reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of “Aladdin Sane”

David Bowie – Reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of “Aladdin Sane”

Apr 20, 2023 By Austin Saalman

Perhaps the strongest release of his iconic “glam rock” phase, which spanned from roughly 1971 to 1974, David Bowie’s sixth studio album Aladdin Sane serves as a divine culmination of his various creative aspirations. Described by Bowie at the time of its release as “Ziggy under the influence of America,” Aladdin Sane was heavily influenced by Bowie’s extensive U.S. tour in support of his monumental mainstream breakthrough The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, released the previous June.