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Sled Island Music Festival – Guest Curator: Julien Baker

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Radiation Flowers: Saskatoon psych rockers taking a heavy swing

Saturday 10th, November 2018 / 10:41
By Mike Dunn


 

EDMONTON – In their three short years working as Radiation Flowers, the Saskatoon psych rock group has been consistently busy, cutting a full-length and an EP, and hitting the road with regularity. As they prepare to cut a new record, the band is noticing a move from the jangly psych of their first two efforts, toward a heavier sound built through relentless jamming and rehearsal, and a musical change within their writing.

“I think we’ve built a lot of these songs around our bass player, Jay Allen,” says guitar player Chris Laramee. “We’ve played off a lot of his riffs, whereas before, Shelby (Gaudet, vocals and guitar) would bring a part and a vocal, and we’d work with a lot of that.”

The band’s hypnotic style can be traced, says drummer Amber Ross, to “a lot of jamming, and working things out together. Chris or Shelby will bring a riff in, and we’ll arrange it together, and work it up as a band. We look more for a feel than a style with these songs. If we’re not feeling it, we’ll put it aside for awhile.”

Laramee is quick to give props to classic hip hop, and to mid-’60’s art pop for his interest in the repetitive nature of groove. “The early Public Enemy, The Velvet Underground, just hanging on that one riff, and then we do it in our own way. Simple cyclical rhythmic stuff is interesting. The new stuff hangs on Jay’s bass lines a lot, not in a like, crushing metal way, but it is a bit heavier.”


Radiation Flowers are in Edmonton at The Aviary on November 17th

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