Essential New Music: The Radio Dept.’s “Running Out Of Love”

radiodept

A glorious, long-awaited return from Lund, Sweden’s impeccably styled dream-pop maestros—and easily the most vibrant they’ve ever sounded—Running Out Of Love kicks off with a sunny, bongo-laced shimmer that would’ve fit right in on Sincerely Yours circa 2007, before moving on to slinky, synth-reggae, sleek New Order-esque tech-pop and baggy Balearic breakbeats. But if they’ve nudged themselves increasingly further from the shoegazy static of their early years, toward luminous, unshrouded melodies and astoundingly plausible dance music, it’s definitely still dance music for introverts. And fear not; vibrant is a relative term—there are still plenty of hazy, lushly burnished textures to retreat to in between the sophisti-bangers. Likewise, while this is an upfront, incisively political record for those who’re paying attention—the lyric sheet practically drips with woeful indignation at Sweden’s ominous rightward turn—Johan Duncanson’s voice remains so soft and subdued (and mixed sufficiently low) as to incite only the most subtle and tastefully restrained of revolutions.

—K. Ross Hoffman

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