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Clinging To A Scheme (Labrador)
The Radio Dept.’s first full-length release in four years and third in seven years doesn’t mess with their established dream pop formula. As on 2006’s Pet Grief, wistful reverbed vocals languidly intertwine with melancholy synth and drum machines, creating a sound that’s hardly innovative but unmistakably distinct. Perfectionism notwithstanding, the Swedish indie band apparently doesn’t like to go outside its comfort zone.
But it’s not as if they’re flooding the market with releases anyway. Even if their sound is familiar, it’s welcome. There are a few slight alterations on the formula – Heaven’s On Fire’s anti-capitalist Thurston Moore sample and Never Follow Suit’s reggae bass line, for instance – but ultimately, this is the same Radio Dept. we know, love and hardly ever hear from. We’ll take what we can get.
Top track: David