Review: Radiation City’s “Animals in the Median”

Meet Portland's Radiation City.Shannon Woolf

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Radiation City
Animals in the Median
Tender Loving Empire

Dreamy and wistful is the default mode for plenty of modern bands that haven’t figured out who they want to be when they grow up, but the striking Portland, Oregon quintet Radiation City shows how to do it right. Their second album, Animals in the Median, shimmers like a unearthly mirage, weaving together misty melodies, analog electronics and the siren vocals of keyboardist Lizzy Ellison to create a poignant sense of faded optimism and missed opportunities. Hazy gems such as “Wash of Noise” and “Lark” echo the melancholy retro-futurism of Stereolab, albeit with a more delicate touch, while the gauzy “Wary Eyes” evokes the gently eerie sensation of hearing soft music from another room at 3 a.m. Ellison and company could create a great soundtrack for David Lynch.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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