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Synesthetica

by Radiation City

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1.
Oil Show 04:07
you came in need in longing, posed as perfect rows of teeth you’ve grown tired of sweets and men of means so lost, with you wrecking the plot, tearing their flowers to seed (the game, you’ll see) come with me i come for you, you come for me ooh ooh darling oh we’re in a whirlwind woven and now the world is paved engolden your midas tongue tells me the night is young i won’t pretend that this is the end (or say goodbye) you come to me no taciturn eyes you’ll brandish what lies underneath darling no this might be the way it goes oooh breathe and hold on to me in the morn ooh ooh ooh ooh oh we’re in a whirlwind woven and now the world is paved engolden your midas tongue tells me the night is young i won’t pretend that this is the end
2.
Juicy 04:33 video
pay your payment to me give it up there’s nothing left to see you’re giving away your time come play with me oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh... la la la la la la la la la la la la la la play here with me oh... pick your poison a lasting lick from a soothing song in a dry, dry desert cacophonous occasion couldn’t conjure up the stamen cover up the prints we came in not enough for lucky layman JUICY la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la play here with me oh... (instrumental) play here with me oh oh...
3.
Butter 04:01
we have the same sighs our parents did they passed it down we made it big this time it's do or die drive east till the neighbors unleash the beast make a cradle putting the boot down to make a print isn't easy when we only have one shot chorus: we have to say goodnight we have breakout to say goodnight this is not an open invitation it is an open wound this is not the result of being patient this is not making a move you are not flying through a window you are not covered in bruises I am the one, the one who gets the beat up, feet up to cover the moon (chorus)
4.
Come And Go 04:32
where do you come from where do you go? how could you be here when you're down in a hole? wake up the night is dark, but you're a bright kid where do you come from where do you go? this isn't the bedroom so take off your clothes take up a new pastime it's well past the time you did chorus: where do you come and go? when you know when you know where do you come from where do you go? let's play like we've never met before there's a darkness that's been there since you were young let's cut it open with a golden tongue what does it taste like how does it sound? how could it disappoint if you keep coming around? (chorus) break it down now (chorus)
5.
Milky White 03:57
there’s no other way ooh no you were born to meet your make(r) and be mine everything to come is clear from where it came the first kiss of genius who wrote down a hot hand and in reaction ripped holes in time yours is mine oh chorus: i can’t be you honey come make up your mind oh i can’t be you honey come make up your mind i can’t be you everybody’s evil can belie hurry and make your way it’s a good play in our side i want to be bad for me a last kick of genius that touched on a pale horse and in reversal turned 6 to 9 seas to wine made oceans lie sure as yours is all mine (chorus) everything for only mine mine mine (instrumental bridge) chorus repeat out
6.
Sugar Broom 03:57
if this is the end then i would like to say chorus: i can't see can't hear can't breathe but i don't want to leave you got out in time becoming a child only human was never your style (chorus) i can't remember no sleep to treat us well (chorus) no i don’t no i don’t
7.
Separate 05:45
i know i know you would need to go you would end it all to show you hold the reins you want nothing when the summer sun is close enough you can touch it, huh, and it’s more than you can take you need money to forget the tug of gravity yeah it’s such a drug you can struggle but it’s underway this time and it’s fine you listen long to the deaf and dumb the runner up ‘cause you didn’t run, no it’s not the problem today it’s not dumb, it’s your lucky lung, so breathe easy with a bit unsung you can fill it with empty space it is allowed when you're not loud (chorus) you talk dirty when the floors are clean, just to show em that it's not about the scene it's the mud we’re digging for this time (chorus)
8.
Futures 03:10
chorus: you came you saw your video your video the video of when you were a little one little one a little one they came they saw and everyone everyone everyone they made you feel really small really small a really small dancing on a screen making fun of a million things tell me not to cry but i know that i had to try you were my lie you were my lie (chorus) summers were happy (summers were happy) when they were easy (easy) never could listen (never could listen) echoing the thunder thunder you were my lie you were my lie (chorus)
9.
chorus: my time to be fly by your love my time to be fly by your love do you wake up cold feeling out on your own ooh oh having time to kill getting honey to fill in the hole now now no need to bury the treasure you’re winning we'll be ok pounding, the meet, we’re overflowing with teeth in a masquerade (chorus) this is our life now repeating the times how we couldn't be right though crossing our hearts with our fingers, a deep trick for this kind of love oh oh oh... ooh ooh… (instrumental) now now no need to bury the treasure you’re winning we'll be ok pounding, the meet, we are overflowing with teeth in a masquerade now now no need to bury the treasure you’re winning we'll be ok pounding, the meet, we are over-flowing with teeth in a masquerade (chorus)

about

In late 2013, with two well-received full-lengths and an EP under its belt, Radiation City got the itch. The band had built a strong following in its native Portland and connected with fans around the world, and from the outside, the path seemed clear enough: find a great producer to work with and further develop the smooth, space-age doo-wop sound that had put them on the map in the first place.

But on the inside, things weren’t so simple. Cameron Spies and Lizzy Ellison, Radiation City’s founding couple, were falling apart. Rad City, a tight-as-family band that always seemed to work so effortlessly off- and onstage, was on the verge of calling it quits.

Then a funny thing happened: Spies and Ellison got together to record some new, urgent and semi-spontaneous songs and rediscovered that old magic. “None of it felt rushed, or belabored,” Spies says. “It was honest and unafraid.”

Of course, it was also the product of just 40 percent of the group. So, in the face of ambivalence and the band’s impending implosion, Ellison and Spies decided to do something they’d never done before -- they transformed Radiation City from a democracy into a monarchy. They curated a new tracklist for the third full-length (half new songs and half old ones), enlisted Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Riley Geare to be their studio drummer, and found their great producer in John Vanderslice (Spoon, Death Cab For Cutie) of Tiny Telephone Studios.

The band’s issues didn’t end with these revelations—Spies and Ellison broke up temporarily and called off their wedding, one band member was let go, and only half of the group went to San Francisco to record the tracks for the new album—but the die was cast.

Radiation City was not going to polish up its old style for Synesthetica; it was going to completely overhaul both its process and its sound. After recording with Vanderslice, the band took its new directive back to Portland and turned to Jeremy Sherrer (Modest Mouse, Gossip) at Ice Cream Party to flesh out its studio sessions.

In contrast—or, perhaps, in response—to all the human drama involved in creating Synesthetica, the album itself turned into something otherworldly. “We were trying to get to a place where cultural constructs didn’t mean anything,” Spies says. “We wanted to destroy the barriers between all the things we keep separate in our daily lives.”

Based on the condition known as synesthesia, whereby a person links one sensual experience with another (for Ellison, who experiences it, that means seeing specific colors when she hears different musical sounds), Synesthetica is a place where multi-sensory experience is commonplace; where feelings and definitions blend and melt, and surreality becomes reality.

Synesthetica means a lot of other things for Radiation City, too. The band is sensual and synthetic in equal turns—just check out the Bond-worthy “Butter” or the explosive “Milky White” for proof. Synthesizers comprise a major piece of the band’s musical puzzle, especially on the trippy “Juicy” and the minimal “Sugar Broom,” which nods toward Portland legends (and Rad City homies), STRFKR. And an interest in retro-futurism, which the title subtly implies, has been a hallmark of its sound and visual aesthetic from the get-go (as the sweeping space-tango, “Futures,” reminds us).

The word synesthetica is the summation of a pivotal third album that, from the outside, probably seems as effortless as every other Radiation City release. Synesthetica almost killed this band, but instead, it serves as the opening salvo of a monumental second act, and Radiation City is invincible.

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released February 12, 2016

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