Dance to the Radio – 4 x 12” Compilation (April 2017) review

Dance to the Radio compilation album 2017

Dance to the Radio has long been one of the most respected independent labels around. They returned after a small hiatus last year and their famous compilations have previously included the likes of Sky Larkin, Three Trapped Tigers and Pulled Apart by Horses. DttR are now intent on spreading the word of some of the finest new Northern bands and have announced a new series of 12-inch compilations kicking off this month with an EP of the finest Yorkshire has to offer.

As part of this release, all four acts will also be involved in curating or playing events around their home county. The EP opens with Dead Naked Hippies’ ‘Drain You’. With rumbling bass and dark and powerful drums, it’s an anthemic slice of garage-indie rock that also has a startling shoegazey feel. With powerful, passionate vocals and some ear-piercing yelps, we’d recommend it for fans of Savages. Fling’s ‘Looking Outta My Window’ follows this and although still guitar-based, it couldn’t really be more different. It opens with the admission ‘feeling kinda groggy, lying naked on the floor, sipping on a coffee, stand up and feel the world’ while the music sounds something akin to ‘Popscene’-era Blur. There’s a relentless positivity to the song as well as the band celebrate everything from the fact ‘I’ve been rolling down a river on my yellow rubber lilo’ to how the singer is ‘looking outta my window because it makes me feel good’.

Lamia’s ‘Not Mine’ kicks off the second side of the record and again showcases another side to the Yorkshire scene. Electronica tinged and almost ambient, the sultry, arty sound reminded us of a tantalising mixture of Bat for Lashes and The XX while the dark, brooding and distinctive vocals are extremely haunting: ‘There are so many things I need to tell you but I can’t’; ‘I need to get out of here’; ‘I’m not giving up, I just don’t want you enough’. Closing the EP is The Tiny Minds’ ‘Jealous Sea’ and this guitar-led song opens with a joyful burst of handclaps before evolving into something that would feel right at home on the 6Music playlist. The band sing about how ‘I will never finish what I started… I will never find what I’m looking for’ over Ride-style guitars before the track veers into a Coral-style direction at the end.

With four very different acts on show, this is a celebration of Yorkshire’s fine scene and also further proof that Dance to the Radio have their finger on the pulse when it comes to finding exciting new acts.

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