Sunday, January 30th, 2011
The Radio Dept. covers The Go-Betweens
Friendly NoiseSweden’s Radio Dept. have a pretty singular sound when compared to the rest of the pop music landscape – making static and melancholy gleam and glisten as they do is easier said than done – but their musical genome is actaully pretty easy to map. That they use take texture from Jesus & Mary Chain and balance it with Belle & Sebastian’s soft, open heart is most obvious but the swooningly sophisticated pop sensibilities of, say, The Go-Betweens might be overlooked at first – or at least until you hear them covered.
The Radio Dept. covered The Go-Betweens’ “Bachelor Kisses” from their 1984 release Spring Hill Fair as a contribution to a 2007 issue of the Friendly Noise zine and it’s rather astonishing how they manage to make it sound exactly like something from their own canon while simultaneously paying tribute to the original by playing it as straight as they’re capable of doing. And from whichever angle you choose to look at it, It’s a gorgeous piece of work.
The Radio Dept. releases their singles/b-sides compilation Passive Aggressive last week – and “Bachelor Kisses” is included amongst the latter – and their first full and proper North American tour starts on Tuesday night, making its way to Lee’s Palace in Toronto on February 7. The Go-Betweens came to an end in May 2006 when Grant McLennan died of a heart attack. His songwriting partner Robert Forster has continued on as a solo artist, most recently releasing The Evangelist in 2008.