What is Radio Power?
Radio is a strange thing - part water-witching, deriving signals from the ether; part clairaudience - hearing distant sounds, clear as day; part random encounter, inviting a stranger into your living room to hear their stories and listen to their songs.
For the longest time, radio was one of the only ways to discover new, unknown artists - expertly curated by pro DJs (whose favor may or may not have been curried with a line of coke and a stack of cash). In the 21st century, however, radio runs the risk of obsolescence with nearly every album ever made being available at the click of a button.
The downside of this mass availability is the danger of solely running through the rat maze of your own obsessions. The lamentations over people staring at their screens while in public is so-often-repeated, at this point, as to not be worth mentioning - and it's not necessarily a bad thing - but you might miss some moving story of a troubled refugee, sitting right next to you, or miss out on glorious, life-changing music while you're too busy listening to Taylor Swift on repeat.
A pre-programmed life limits the opportunity for wonder, for revelation, while hardening our walls to the life spinning around us. That's part of why it's fun to be a reviewer - you're guaranteed to hear sounds from all over creation, widening your scope & vision.
Radio Power from Chicago's The Radio Hour, is a reminder to let down your guard and really listen. The Radio Hour is predominantly the work of singer/guitarist Tim Hort, whose elegant, electric garage anthems are fleshed out with a supporting cast of backing musicians.
The Radio Hour deserves major props for not being afraid to blend the bitter and the sweet, which always makes for the best pop music, in my opinion. In the artist's own words, "But the material is both nihilistic and foreboding, weaving together stark storylines ranging from abandonment to BDSM. Hort's extremely personal material brings its own brand to the term "loneliness" while unapologetically using pop hooks to keep your attention riveted on the melancholic lyrics."
The subject matter may be bleak and ominous, but it doesn't sound it. This is no grim black metal, instead sounding more like an ethereal garage rock, full of twanging, reverbed guitar, nicely buttressed with some simple but great-sounding bass lines. Everything is mixed to perfection, as smooth as silk but energizing as White Lightning, which makes multiple listens a pleasure and a delight. With each subsequent spin, the album grows on you more and more, like a fine patina sheen on a copper garden statue.
I don't know what it's like, but when I lived in Chicago, I found breaking into the local music scene to be difficult. The Radio Hour is definitely drawing on Radio Power, in that regard, introducing their maudlin meanderings to a wider global audience.
The Radio Hour invites us to lower our defenses and LISTEN, to wander aimlessly, and rediscover wonder.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
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