Sunday, June 7, 2015

My Fascination With Relic Radiation

A couple of years ago I was asked for my opinion on some new music. (Did this person not know me?) Much to both our surprises, I liked it. It didn't immediately sound like the roster of my favorite players, yet somehow it managed to sound like all of them. This was Dan Simoes, a multi-instrumentalist from New Jersey and his project called Relic Radiation.

What drew me to these songs was one basic element, they were musical. As a long time fan of Todd Rundgren, David Bowie, King Crimson, Brian Eno and Pink Floyd, I have been treated to years of music ranging from basic blissful pop to some truly demanding noise, as well as some perfect combinations of everything in between. This is why I continue to listen to these artists today and why I stayed on top of Relic Radiation, who have just released some more music.

Underneath the layers of electronics, Simoes plays some tasteful guitar and creates the all-important hook. These songs, while not your typical three minute pop tunes, do sound like potential singles, if ambient, psych and prog had a proper Top 40.

Brian Eno's "Another Green World" was a very important record for me. It broke many rules while still respecting its many influences. It was experimental, yet accessible. It was a record that had both Brian Wilson harmony and guitar hero solos from Robert Fripp. This is what I'm hearing in Relic Radiation. Dan Simoes has something special to build on. I would love to hear some live drums and stronger vocals, but for now, I find it refreshing to hear music that isn't afraid to take chances without forgetting to be musical. Simoes has done a fab job of that, so far.

 You can check out more Relic Radiation over here.


Ryan said...

Good stuff. Catchy and a bit creepy on some songs, but good songwriting.

Anonymous said...

maybe it's his rig, but I hear mostly Steve Hackett, but without Hackett's idiosyncracies.