Radio Dept. Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002 – 2010

Radio Dept. Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002 – 2010
If we're to go by the record books then Sweden's the Radio Dept. first began way back in 1995 as a fledgling project for Johan Duncanson and then partner Elin Almered. Not a fully formed band until Martin Larsson and Daniel Tjäder joined years later, the Radio Dept. have spent most of their existence as a cult band. But thanks to last year's breakthrough with Clinging From a Scheme (two Swedish Grammy nods, a spot on the Nordic Music Prize shortlist), the band are in the perfect position to show off their colourful past. Having released three LPs, five EPs and ten singles to date, Passive Aggressive offers plenty to chew on, especially for new fans, or those only familiar with their albums. This two-disc set runs in chronological order. The first features 14 singles lifted from various places, moving from the feedback-drenched shoegaze of "Why Won't You Talk About It?" through to the reggae-tinged pop of "We Made the Team" to their most recent and political moment to date, "The New Improved Hypocrisy." Disc two focuses on B-sides and rarities, lifting tracks from the various singles and EPs, but most importantly, acting as a blank slate for experimentation. "Liebling" is an eye-opener, travelling at a speed metal pace, which gives the sense of the band's ambition before they found their love for weed. Instrumental "Slottet" shows some appreciation for acid house and "The Idle Urban Contemporaries" proves that the Radio Dept. could pass as the true pioneers of chillwave. The Radio Dept.'s fan base has always had a ravenous appetite for collecting their recordings, and even if nothing here is considered new, it's hard to argue that this isn't an essential album to own. (Labrador)