The Radio Dept.

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The Radio Dept.
The Radio Dept. performing in 2006
The Radio Dept. performing in 2006
Background information
OriginLund, Sweden
Years active2001–present
MembersJohan Duncanson
Martin Larsson
Daniel Tjäder
Past membersElin Almered
Lisa Carlberg
Per Blomgren
Kim Sjölander
Max Weiland
Le Bombe

The Radio Dept. is a Swedish dream pop band from Lund, Sweden.


In 1995, schoolmates Elin Almered and Johan Duncanson started a band which they named after a gas-station-turned-radio-repair-shop called "Radioavdelningen" (Swedish for The Radio Department). However, Almered and Duncanson soon stopped playing music together, putting the outfit on hiatus. Three years later, in 1998, Duncanson started making music again but now with Martin Larsson and they decided to adopt the same name.[1] In 2001, Larsson's then girlfriend Lisa Carlberg joined the group on bass, followed by Per Blomgren on drums and Daniel Tjäder on keyboards.[2][3]

Later in 2001, the Radio Dept. sent recordings to music magazine Sonic, receiving a positive review and being featured on the free CD sampler that came with the magazine. Labrador Records heard them on the disc and signed them to their label. The band's debut album Lesser Matters (2003) was well received by the music press, scoring 10 out of 10 in the NME. Per Blomgren left the Radio Dept. prior to the release of this album and Lisa Carlberg departed after the release of This Past Week EP. According to their website, the band decided to use digital drum tracks and stated that for their second album they were "taking a new direction ... which wouldn't require a member that played bass guitar."[4] NME would rank Lesser Matters ninth on their list of the 50 best albums of 2004.[5] The album received an 84/100 (Universal acclaim) on Metacritic from a total of five reviews.[6]

The group enjoyed a slightly more widespread recognition after three tracks ("Pulling Our Weight", "I Don't Like It Like This" and "Keen on Boys") were included on the soundtrack for Sofia Coppola's film Marie Antoinette.

Early 2006 saw the release of their second album, Pet Grief. The distorted buzz that adorned most of their debut was now replaced by synthesizer. The album didn't reach the rest of Europe, including the UK until later in 2006. With little touring support, there was no real buzz behind Pet Grief. Reviews were mixed. NME rated the album with a 7 out of 10, but other magazines were less positive. However, it did find popularity amongst a growing fan base throughout the world, thanks to the internet. The album is available in the US through Darla and through their US distribution deal with Labrador.

At the end of 2006, a new track, "We Made the Team", was released as the 100th release on the Labrador. It was also the final track on the Labrador's labels Compilation of 100 tracks released at the beginning of 2007.

The band released a new EP in May 2008 entitled Freddie And The Trojan Horse on Labrador Records. Another EP, David, was released on June 24, 2009. The song "David" was also made available for download at no cost by Labrador Records. The band released their third album, Clinging to a Scheme, on April 20, 2010.

In January 2011, their first compilation album, Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002–2010, was released. It contained all the A-sides released by the band and many of the B-sides and other rarities. That year they were nominated at the Swedish Grammis in the categories “Album of the Year” and “Band of the Year”.[7] In 2011, the band began a tour in the United States and Mexico; in 2012 they visited Latin America,[8] and in 2013 they toured in Turkey and other countries of Asia.[9]

The group' fourth album, Running Out of Love, was released on October 21, 2016.[10] Running Out of Love was shortlisted by IMPALA (The Independent Music Companies Association) for the Album of the Year Award 2016, an award for the best album released on an independent European label.[11]

In August 2018, the band released the single "Going Down Swinging".[12]

In 2019, Radio Dept. released the LP I Don't Need Love, I've Got My Band, which compiled songs from the EPs Pulling Our Weight and This Past Week. The album was released on their new label, Just So Records.[13]

Musical style[edit]

The Radio Dept. are related to such genres as alternative rock, dream pop, indie pop, shoegaze and twee pop, with reviews comparing them to Pet Shop Boys, My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins.[14]

In an interview on their fansite, they cite influences such as Charles Aznavour, Saint Etienne, Broadcast, Frank Sinatra, Joy Division, Pet Shop Boys, Chet Baker, Fennesz, Nick Drake, Kevin Rowland, Prefab Sprout, Paddy McAloon, Junior Boys, Orange Juice, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Jonathan Richman, The Avalanches and The Pale Fountains.[4]

Band members[edit]

Current members
  • Johan Duncanson
  • Martin Larsson, alias Martin Carlberg[15]
  • Daniel Tjäder (touring member)
Past members
  • Elin Almered (1995)
  • Lisa Carlberg (2001-2005)
  • Per Blomgren (2001-2003)
  • Kim Sjölander
  • Max Weiland
  • Le Bombe
  • Rugar
  • Anuar Adame



  1. ^ "The Radio Dept" (in French). Magicrpm. 2014-07-31. Archived from the original on 2014-08-11. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  2. ^ "XL: The Radio Dept". Archived from the original on 2006-04-28. Retrieved 2006-08-16.
  3. ^ "Labrador: The Radio Dept". Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2006-08-16.
  4. ^ a b "The Radio Dept. Biography". Archived from the original on 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
  5. ^ "Metacritic: Best Albums of 2004". Metacritic. Retrieved 2006-08-16.
  6. ^ "Metacritic entry". Metacritic. Retrieved 2006-10-27.
  7. ^ "The Radio Dept. announce 2011 tour dates". Consequence of Sound. 22 December 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  8. ^ [1] [dead link]
  9. ^ "The Radio Dept on tour in Asia at the... - Labrador Records". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  10. ^ Matthew Strauss (2016-07-27). "The Radio Dept. Return With New Album Running Out of Love". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
  11. ^ "25 artists up for best independent album of the year in Europe". IMPALA. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Going Down Swinging, by The Radio Dept". The Radio Dept. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  13. ^ Andy Fenstermaker (2019-11-10). "The Radio Dept. State "I Don't Need Love, I've Got My Band"". FensePost. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  14. ^ "The Black and White". Archived from the original on 2006-11-19. Retrieved 2006-08-16.
  15. ^ Martin Carlberg discography