Calling all fans of R&B and/or alternative music—actually, calling all fans of good music. You likely do not know who Rad Museum is, but you’ll be glad to know that you will soon. I admittedly had no idea who he was either until I went to the Club Eskimo concert in Toronto last March. He opened up the show, coming on before offonoff. Though I did not actually see his face, (because the venue was way too small and the fans were crazy), I did hear his lovely voice. His performance of “Island” was one that stuck with me even after the show. So, needless to say, I was intrigued when I saw Club Eskimo members promoting his first album on Instagram.
DEAN went on Instagram live on October 25 and asked Rad Museum to play snippets of his debut EP, titled Scene. Those snippets were all it took to get me hyped about the album. It already sounded very promising.
There are seven tracks on the EP, the first being “Over the Fence.” Opening with a lofi-hip-hop beat (a genre that I’ve grown to love and listen to while studying), a slow guitar kicks in to add more rhythm. Birds chirp in the background and mix with the dreamy vocals of Rad Museum—it’s the kind of thoughtful music I find myself melting away to. It reminds me of Club Eskimo member Crush’s album Wonderlust, specifically the song “2411.”
Next is “Cloud,” which features PUNCHNELLO, Colde, and MISO. The song carries a similar laid-back ambience as “Over the Fence.” Like the name itself, it will make you feel like stopping to stare up at the clouds, likely getting lost in them. Dreamy, inspiring, moving—I find it hard to believe anyone could ever hate this kind of ambient music. I’m also a huge fan of MISO and her vocals, and her contribution to the ending of the song does not go unnoticed.
Carrying on with the pattern of thematic titles, “Dancing in the Rain” opens with a solemn guitar melody. The vocals are captivating from the get-go and build up to a chill-inducing chorus. Following this is an upbeat, old-school, rock-influenced track: “ㅗ매드키드ㅗ.” The electric guitars are full of excited energy, and the vocals carry a fun melody. The song reminds me of HYUKOH, but with an entirely different tone in vocals. The high-pitch screams and the charismatic delivery of the lyrics make this a stand-out track.
The uncanny similarities between Rad Museum and DEAN’s vocals are hard to miss in “Birthday.” To further show this off, we get “Tiny Little Boy” featuring DEAN himself. The opening is promising with its Latin-influenced acoustic guitar melody. Once the beat kicks in, more Latin-influenced movers and shakers join in to further accompany the rhythm. DEAN jumps in with a rap verse that, put simply, has me on the floor relishing in its glory. The song’s musical arrangement is unique and quite incredible. While it’s hard to choose one favorite, “Tiny Little Boy,” with it’s originality and ingenious build-up, might just be that one for me.
Finally, we get “Woman,” which opens with a dreamy retro beat reminiscent of one of my favorite bands: Arctic Monkeys and their album AM. The dreaminess continues throughout, and it aims to drift the listener off into a dream-like state as the album comes to a close.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Rad Museum, since he only had one song before Scene, but I am incredibly excited to have such an amazing musician added onto my playlist. The one thing I don’t like about this album? It’s very hard to find online. As of today, it is neither on Spotify nor on iTunes (Canada). Hopefully this changes, because Scene is an album that I would happily purchase to support the up-and-coming Rad Museum.