February 17, 2017 | doors at 9:00pm
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The Bowery presents:
The Radio Dept.
The Radio Dept. was formed in 2001 by Johan Duncanson and Martin Carlberg. The name was stolen from an art pop band Johan had had with a couple of highschool friends during the later part of the 90s. (A little later bass player Lisa Carlberg and drummer Per Blomgren joined the band as they started rehearsing in the way bands so often do.) In 2002 Swedish music magazine Sonic drew attention to the band as the song Why Won’t You Talk About It was featured on their accompanying CD-sampler, which was also how Labrador discovered the band. After having released a 7” on their own label Slottet, the debut four track ep “Against The Tide”, they were signed to Labrador.

The Radio Dept.’s debut album “Lesser Matters”, was released in the spring of 2003 and by then keyboard player Daniel Tjäder had joined the band. The album became an underground success both in Sweden and internationally. The buzz that slowly grew to give the band worldwide recognition came with a little help from XL Recordings who released the album in large parts of the world some time later. In between albums and touring two EP:s were released, Pulling Our Weight in late 2003 and This Past Week in 2005.

The second album, “Pet grief”, was released in the spring of 2006 and showed a slightly more dreamy, less noisy, side of the band. The album reached #11 in the Swedish charts and continued to give The Radio Dept. new listeners all over the world. Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette (2006), which featured three songs, Keen on Boys, Pulling Our Weight and I Don’t Like It Like This also helped spreading the word. In late 2006 the band started recording what was to become the album Clinging To A Scheme. Well over a hundred songs were recorded. However recordings were delayed due to touring in Asia, relocation of band members, extensions of family members and what not. Still the politically satirical single Freddie And The Trojan Horse was released in May 2008 as a foretaste of the album. A year later the single David followed. Finally Clinging To A Scheme surfaced in spring 2010, on which the band has combined the most unequaled components from their previous output. Humbly and honestly, most reviewers were thrilled. First single Heaven’s On Fire is a passionate and yet passively aggressive attack on this unknown “you” in an almost cheerful song with a baggy hiphop-beat, obstinate guitars and a driving house-piano. Upcoming single Never Follow Suit has got Johan Duncanson’s hushed voice glued to a heavy bass, backbeat piano and shimmering flutes. A low-key but intense soliloquy on issues of belonging and not belonging. During the fall of 2010 and first half of 2011 they will be touring various parts of the world and start recording new songs. Who knows when any of them will be released, but as far as we know they are on to something. They are still clinging to a scheme.
Julia Kwamya’s modus operandi is one of sheer authenticity: first she feels, and then she writes. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter’s unique sound—an ethereal mix of moody disco and synth-y sadcore—stems from the most vulnerable of places. Heartbreak, while almost entirely universal, is the running theme for two of her singles, DzWonderhowdz and DzCruel,dz both of which she produced alongside Kurt Feldman (Ice Choir, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart). But despite its ubiquitous nature, not everyone has the knack to the channel the pain—and subsequent soul-searching—of emotional anguish into musical form. Enter GERMANS, Kwamya’s independent musical project she started in 2013. Recalling the new wave movement of the ’80s with a tinge of dreamy tempo beats, Kwamya’s music is both deeply poetic and reflective of the human condition, leaving anyone who stumbles upon it reveling in a celestial glow. Now, on the heels of the release of her third track, DzDead Bird,dz which received critical acclaim from Billboard, Kwamya is slated to release her first-ever full-length album in January. Co-produced by Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Kwamya’s tracks will draw heavily on introspection—what she calls Dzfeeling good about feeling What’s more, Kwamya has just announced a worldwide, three-month-long tour with The Radio Dept. next year, performing with the Swedish dream-pop band at La Maroquinerie in Paris, Berghain in Berlin, El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, Bowery Ballroom in New York City, and more.