As far as first tours go, Little Radar’s was certainly memorable. The quartet set out from their Austin home base last fall, only to arrive in New York two days after Hurricane Sandy had shut down nearly the entire eastern seaboard. Their first New York show ended up being a benefit for Sandy’s many victims, adding emotional heft to their tour itinerary. Their travels also took them to Nashville’s Sputnik Sound, where they met Grammy-award winning producer Mitch Dane and decided to turn the recording keys over to him.
Altogether, it was a pretty fruitful trip–the band’s third release, Souvenirs, is out August 6, and it certainly reflects the whirlwind aspect of that initial tour. But Little Radar’s trajectory has been on the upward slope for a while now. Austin music fans have packed themselves into the group’s local shows since the band debuted in 2011, and their music has earned a ton of critical attention, including from our very own Laurie Gallardo. Little Radar has captured ears thanks to their ever-shifting sound: part-psychedelia, part-hard rock, and with a love of unconventional rhythms.
For Souvenirs, Dane pushed them even further into uncharted territory. “The rapid speed at which we were forced to work was really a blessing,” says bassist Grant Himmler. “There was hardly time to eat, let alone make a self-indulgent record.” And it’s hardly self-indulgent. Little Radar manage to pack a lot of ideas into their songs, reflecting both their creativity and their recording pace, yet every idea has a clear purpose. “Siren” might swing hard at first, but every chorus is marked with a swooping flourish. It’s the kind of song that jumps out at you, refusing to let go time and time again.
You can catch Little Radar at their album release show at Stubb’s on August 10.