drift away on swedish dream pop.

by liza darwin

The Radio Dept. might just be the most popular band you haven't yet heard of. Since the band's inception back in 2001, this Swedish three-piece has steadily won an international following for their delicate pop sound- with just enough shoegaze and soulful intensity, it's rainy Sunday listening you can play any day of the week. And with 3 full-length records (along with cameos on the Marie Antoinette soundtrack and the Gucci runway), we think it's about time that these guys come out from under the radar and into the spotlight. Guitarist Martin Larsson filled us in.

You guys have been a band for a while..how do you stay inspired, record after record? We always write new material; it's always the easiest thing for us. That's a bit of a problem, actually, because we have so many songs that we've recorded- we over 100 songs for the last album, so it took 3 years to sort that out. Writing the songs isn't the hard part, it's narrowing them down!

You guys are about to head out on tour. What's your favorite city to perform in? It's hard to say. I really love New York, so I would have to say it's my second favorite. Istanbul is the first. I'm not sure why I love it so much, but it's kind of like the New York of the Middle East.

How did you choose the singles for Passive Aggressive: Singles?

We picked out the ones that will sell more, and also those that took a step forward and that didn't sound exactly what we've done before. We we try to make songs sound different.

How do you do that? Well, it seems that you can always hear us even though we try to sound really different. It's so easy to fall into old patterns, but luckily Johan is good at coming up with new inspiration and pushing us forward.

What do you think about being compared to other bands? I don't mind references if they're good and if we like the bands [laughing]. It's up to others to put us in a category,so it's fine by me. We don't really think about it, though.

Out of all your singles, which one stands out the most?  I was really pleased with "You Stop Making Sense," because we have so much built into that. We tried really hard to make it work, so when it did, we were relieved. Maybe I like it because we all put so much into it.

Listen to The Radio Dept. here!