Radiation City Il Motore, Montreal QC, September 25

Radiation City Il Motore, Montreal QC, September 25
Photo: Steve Louie
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Portland, OR indie pop quintet Radiation City were the first band to the Il Motore stage for Pop Montreal 2013, and their opening set covered sounds from pop to soul, with a sprinkle of doo-wop for good measure. The sparsely-textured tunes featured open guitar riffs, "Stand By Me" bass lines, and thumping drums accompanied by killer soul synths that provided a solid propulsion to a set that occasionally dragged.

Despite being comprised of two couples, it occasionally appeared that the band were not operating as a unit, lacking some sort of unifying cohesion. The one constant element that kept the band going was lead singer Elisabeth Ellison, whose airy tone was the band's most captivating feature. Her vocals lent themselves to the set's best moment, during the breezy "Summer Is Not an Act I" from their debut LP, The Hands That Hold You, that evoked the lackadaisical nature of the passing season. While the set occasionally drifted out of focus, the band definitely have potential, and should be one to keep an ear out for.

See more photos from Pop Montreal in our gallery here.