by Joel Parmer (@cup_of_joel)
With humble beginnings in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Radiator Hospital was initially conceived as a bedroom recording project of Sam Cook-Parrott. After several busy formidable years releasing a collection of lo-fi albums, EP’s, and splits, Radiator Hospital become a full-band quartet. They relocated to Philadelphia and had a major breakthrough with their 2014 album Torch Song. The traction pressed on as the group toured various parts of the world and following up with another fantastic full-length Play the Songs You Like in 2017.
On Radiator Hospital's newest offering, Sings ‘Music For Daydreaming’ Cook-Parrott has gone back to his original bedroom-esque singer-songwriter roots. Everything on this release was written and performed by him, as lo-fi qualities of earlier Radiator Hospital releases have been replaced with a polished, hi-fi sensibility.
Sings ‘Music For Daydreaming’ presents a cohesively diverse range of songs. Intro track “My Fire” ignites the release with a chipper, piano-driven arrangement. Right out of the gate, this opener showcases Cook-Parrott’s ability to propel simplicity forward with tactfulness. This simple yet honed-in approach extends throughout the record.
A collection of memorable ballads, both guitar and piano heavy, stack up on Sings ‘Music For Daydreaming’ with songs such as “Alright Again,” “Personal Truth,” and “Corner Booth.” On this note, the track “Guitar” ironically incorporates just piano and vocals into a soft song in which Cook-Parrott sings: “I used to play my sister’s guitar. Plug it in, turn it up loud. Nothing like the way I strum my chords. I knew how to make the notes ring out. But I left it in Savannah.”
While there are many ‘full-band’ arrangements crafted by Cook-Parrott on Sings ‘Music For Daydreaming’ drum parts are integrated into just six of the fourteen songs on the album. They uniquely ride solely on the kick drum and snare. This is all composed in a fashion that manifests itself throughout the entire album with a ‘less is more’ philosophy; there’s exactly enough variety and nothing unnecessary getting in the way.
We have a first listen of Radiator Hospital’s Sings ‘Music For Daydreaming’ which is out May 10th. Let the heartwarming songs speak for themselves and snag a copy of this release through Salinas Records.