Posts Tagged ‘Radiator Hospital’

There’s always been a tenderness beneath the buzzing, brassy noise that has become characteristic of Radiator Hospital. For their latest project, the Philadelphia-based band have chosen to further indulge their sentimental side. True to its title, Sings “Music for Daydreaming”, is introspective and unassuming, the perfect soundtrack to drift away to.

Noticeably more acoustic than past albums, “Stories We Could Tell” opens with a bluesy guitar riff that develops into what can only be described as an upbeat polka-rock song — think the Felice Brothers, only grittier and more garage, the kind of song indie-heads could line-dance to.

On “Guitar,” however, the band strips down to bare essentials: Sam Parrot-Cook’s whiny vocals, which double and harmonize beautifully during the chorus, are accompanied only by a simple, spare piano melody. The song tells the story of how Parrot-Cook left his favourite guitar, which once belonged to his sister, backstage at a dive bar in Savannah. “Never thought I would lose something I loved so much,” goes the chorus.

Music for Daydreaming is a significant departure from the grunginess of Torch Songfor example, but no less raw. Though they rarely pass the three-minute mark, each track is dense and intricate enough to get lost in.

Recorded October 8th-10th 2018 at Uniform Recording in Philadelphia, PA. Produced, arranged, composed, and performed by Sam Cook-Parrott.
Special thanks to Marco at Salinas for putting it out, my band for not being mad that I made a record without them, my roommates for putting up with my loud ass while writing and practicing this, to all my friends and family, and most of all to anyone who considers themself a “fan.” It’s my life’s great honor to rock for you. –Sam
Releases May 10th, 2019

This album was recorded May 1st-4th 2017 at Uniform Recording by Jeff Zeigler. It was mastered by Carl Saff. Jeff Bolt played drums. Sam Cook-Parrott sang and played guitar. Jon Rybicki played bass. Cynthia Schemmer played guitar and sang. All words written by Sam Cook-Parrott except “Sycamore” which is a song by the band Martha. Front cover art by Jason Roy. Back cover photo by Catherine Elicson. Layout by Mikey Cantor. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Jeff, Carl, Jason, Catherine, Marco, Mikey, Eloy, all our housemates for putting up with loud practices, everyone who ever booked us a show, everyone who has supported our music.


Philadelphia duo The Afterglows have released a self-titled album of lo-fi indie rock that has nods to power-pop, punk and a kind of warped, mournful Americana.

Philadelphia power-pop songwriters Sam Cook-Parrott and Michael Cantor each helm their own bands: Cook-Parrott is the force behind Radiator Hospital, and Cantor’s main project is The Goodbye Party. Both write songs that range from sparse and intimate to lush and joyful, driven by DIY aesthetics and thoughtful lyrics. Now, they’re collaborating under the name The AfterglowsCook-Parrott says the project came together slowly over the past two years, while he and Cantor were living together and working on records for their respective bands. After realizing how similar their sonic and aesthetic tastes were, they decided to record a stripped-down album of new songs and “a few strays” from their other bands. The resulting album is atmospheric and melancholy; it’s less immediately poppy than the duo’s other projects, but similarly easy to get lost in, anchored by the interplay between Cook-Parrott and Cantor’s voices.

“Angels In The Sunshine Hotel” is the first track the duo is releasing from the new album. It relies on layers of sound that build and coalesce around aching vocals, all built on the repetitive riff lying below. Cook-Parrott and Cantor’s carefully executed harmonies help balance the song’s bright moments and moody overtones.

Cantor explains in an email that the song was inspired by a story he heard about a tenant in a New York City flophouse called The Sunshine Hotel. The tenant moved to New York to study philosophy and answer life’s eternal questions, but an insistent focus on his metaphysical journey made him lose his grip on reality. He ended up penniless, living in the hotel. “There’s this idea that as a musician, if you’re serious enough about what you do, you’ll eventually quit your day job and just try to make it work,” Cantor says. “I guess this story was just a dark reminder that it’s easy to end up sacrificing too much if you aren’t careful.”

Available on a  pay-what-you-want deal from Bandcamp, it is a fine listen that we’re thoroughly enjoying. Grab it here or listen to a couple of tracks below first, Spitting Blood and Punks From The Past.



Swanning, “Sleep My Pretties” (Salinas Records)
Cynthia Ann Schemmer might be best known for her involvement in Philadelphia indie-pop project Radiator Hospital, but it’s not her only extracurricular: She’s also an editor at She Shreds magazine, and singer and lead guitarist of the recently formed pop-punk project Swanning. “Sleep My Pretties,” from their forthcoming Drawing Down the Moon EP, presents some tough subject matter (Schemmer says it’s about grieving her deceased mother), but her impossibly buoyant vocals keep the sunny-sounding track afloat.


New project from Cynthia Schemmer, who has played guitar for Radiator Hospital, some of whose members also played on this recording. l’m looking forward to this Philadelphia group’s 12″ EP due in May of 2016 on great label Salinas Records.


Is this an EP or simply a split single? “When it rains, well it really fucking pours” sing Martha and they’re right, if an EP with one brilliant band on it counts as raining then this EP with two brilliant bands on it definitely counts as pouring. A total deluge would be more accurate. This record is a marriage made in indie/pop/punk/lo-fi heaven. Bonus Points for breaking down the North East England / Pennsylvania divide .We are a rock band of rockers who love to rock. We also can be just one person who is much quieter but still loves to rock.

LA duo Girlpool cover ‘Cut Your Bangs’ the original was  by Radiator Hospital at a special NME session at The Macbeth in London.
If Kurt Cobain alive today, he would probably be declaring Girlpool the greatest band in the world and name-dropping them to fame. The Nirvana singer loved riot grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill and obscure British indie groups such as the Raincoats – and those sounds seem to have inspired this Los Angeles duo.

For a pair who didn’t expect to ever leave the LA underground scene, and whose self-titled debut EP began life as a homemade cassette before being re-released by Wichita, Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad must be happy with their progress to date.
Written for electric and bass guitars and two shrill voices, Girlpool’s songs are sparse, needling, angular and caustic – they could be Marine Girls gone grunge, or First Aid Kit raised on Sleater-Kinney. Even if their material sounds like extended intros awaiting drums that never crash in, their purist aversion to clutter places intense focus on their lyrics, which are rawer than a pair off freshly skinned knees. Plants and Worms, Ideal World and Paint Me Colours are misfit anti-anthems about self-empowerment, boredom, anger and the intense sexual and romantic desires and discomforts of youth.
It is best to think of the singers less as a band without a rhythm section than as a duo doing an amped-up, confrontational take on the singer-songwriter genre – which they also seem capable of doing on more polite terms. When they resist their natural instinct for abrasion with a show-stopping harmony-drenched cover of Radiator Hospital’s Cut Your Bangs, Tucker and Tividad show they can do “pretty” just as well as harsh.

LA duo Girlpool cover ‘Cut Your Bangs’ by Radiator Hospital at a special NME session at The Macbeth in London.