With the end of the year quickly approaching, print publications and blogs are scurrying to finish up their "Best Of" lists. Looking back, it seems each of the past few years have generally been defined by a few common threads, and 2010 is no exception. This year we've seen the rise of several dream-fueled, shadowy pop projects centered on the power of their female vocalists. National names like Beach House, Warpaint and Twin Sister have all had a super year. 2011 should see this seductive trend manifest even further with more breakout acts.
One local duo that could ride this wave into next year's spotlight is Portland's own Radiation City. The project is a newer iteration from bandmates/label founders/cute Portland couple Cameron Spies and Lizzy Ellison. If you're familiar with their other projects, Spesus Christ and Soap Collectors—or the aforementioned national bands—you'll quickly feel at home with this cut, "Summer Is Not, Act I." Ellison's lulling keyboards and arresting vocal prowess layer gracefully over Spies' dynamic beats and ample ability to create emotional soundscapes of reverbed guitar. On the rest of the band's self-titled debut EP, Spies also provides some of his trademark Spesus Christ weirdness on a few tracks to counterbalance the fluidity of Ellison's Soap Collectors' styling. It's this diverse parity that will help the duo stand out among the deluge of similar projects likely to have a shot at the big time next year.
[AUDIO:02 Summer Is Not Act I.mp3]
You can find this track and the whole EP on the band's own label Apes Tapes. You can see Radiation City at the Apes Tapes Showcase at Rontom's on Sunday, Dec. 26th.