You should be listening to The Radiation Flowers

Radiation Exposure

By Nick Jean

A part of what we wanted to do when we started OurBasement was to help draw your ears to new acts we think you’ll love but may not yet have had the chance to hear.

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The Radiation Flowers slayed.

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Picture if you would a mellowed-out Black Mountain and you’ll be most of the way to The Radiation Flowers. First brought to our attention by Carl Johnson’s (Library Voices) Instagram post, the Saskatoon-based foursome is made up of vocalist and guitarist Shelby Gaudet, drummer Amber Ross, Christopher Laramee on guitar and bassist Jay Allen. Born from a number of line-up changes from a band called Powder Blue, (with a letter from the Powder Blues Band proving the ultimate catalyst,)  they released their second full-length album last year. The self-titled LP is an 11-track masterwork of droning, psychedelic shoegaze.

Now a four-piece after their keyboardist left the band, Allen said in a phone interview from Sault Ste. Marie their newest songs are “less synth-y,” as you’d expect without a keyboardist, “They’re a little less ethereal and a little less dreamy and little more noisy and guitar-driven.”

Below is an example of their earlier sound, a psychedelic track called “Go On Forever” from their first full-length, Dream In Black.

“We don’t want to feel we’re funneled or pigeon-holed into any category and I think our music can really appeal to a lot of people,” Allen said. “We get a lot of different comparisons when people talk to us about our music. Everything from Seattle grunge in the ’90s to ’70s psychedelia to ’90s shoegaze.”

In the first single, “Psychic Attack,” the fuzzed out instrumentation will put you at ease, but Gaudet’s vocals and Ross’ marching beat will get your hackles up and have you checking over your shoulder. You should get used to that feeling, too. It’s ever-present in the album. These Toontown rockers are like the beauty of a bloom in a post-nuclear wasteland. It may be pretty to gaze upon, but it might just try to eat you, too.

The band’s been exceptionally busy as they announced they were in the studio towards the end of May (more on that later) before departing on a self-booked, two-stage cross-Canada tour. The second, eastern leg being the eight-stop Summer Burnout Tour.

Unfortunately, Regina, Winnipeg and Thunder Bay are too late to see them. If you’re in Southern or Eastern Ontario, however, you’ve still got a chance. They have shows throughout the rest of the week in Hamilton, Oshawa, Toronto and Ottawa.

Wednesday, July 20 – Hamilton, ON @ This Ain’t Hollywood
w/ Comet Control and Hawkeyes

Thursday, July 21 – Bowmanville, ON @ Manantler Craft Brewing Co.
w/ Holy Mount

Friday, July 22 – Toronto, ON @ The Silver Dollar Room
w/ B-17, Vypers and Denim Skeletons

Saturday, July 23 – Ottawa, ON @ Dominion Tavern
w/ The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol and David Jackson

As for that studio stint, they have just released a split 7″ with a Swedish group called The Orange Revival for which just 300 copies were made, half of which went overseas. They have copies of that record with them on tour so you can pick one up there.

But that’s not the end for new music. They have also put the wraps on a six-track EP that will be released some time in the late summer or early fall. We’ll have news of that as soon as we can get it.

Check out The Radiation Flowers’ site at Both their full-lengths are available for you to pick up on bandcamp. Do so and you’ll hopefully “get out of the music what we’re trying to put into it,” Allen said, “a pure enjoyment of music.”

133 thoughts on “Radiation Exposure

  1. Good morning, indie music fans. Black Mountain this Friday.

    I guess they’re just not that well-known in Ottawa: the show’s been moved from Ritual to Zaphod’s, about half the size perhaps.


  2. Good morning.
    This article was all kinds of fun. Last-minute phone interview at 10pm? Sure!
    I’m going to be at their show tomorrow night. Amusingly, I’d never heard of Manantler Brewing until Friday when I tried their Roberta Bondar blonde at the For Esme show in Oshawa. Now I’m going to watch a band I hadn’t heard of before that show at a brewery I’d never heard of before that show.
    Horizons expanding!


  3. Good morning!
    Nice to hear/read from Garfy on yesterday’s post, I was just thinking this morning I’d send a msg. Sleep tight Garfy!:)
    Great article yet again @TopofzammyNick, kudos! Listening to their tracks now. Like it!


  4. R @6:08 Yeah, well, if only there was a national webradio service that actively promoted indie… harharharhar

    No but really, the regionality of this vast country is the second hurdle, after “mere” distance. (Both = little money)

    Anyway, work calls before it gets too hot outside. Trimming the neighbour’s unkempt cedar hedge around my electricity cable — no worries, easy.

    (And, asked yesterday and asked again: where the heck is garfield?)


  5. Hi BfO, yep Garfy came on late yesterday (I read it this morning) & mentioned he’s adopted a somewhat vampiric sleep pattern.
    Nosferatu in the house eeeek!


  6. The q (whatever) panel is worth listening to this morning, although they are talking about the RNC, down South.

    Original points are being made, as well as some of the same ones, of course.


  7. @luckymaloo… thanks for asking RE my Step Mom…. well…. okay the moment. But we are worried. She had that surgery yesterday and they found cancer that was not there a month ago even though she had done chemotherapy since her first surgery. They do have her intestine unblocked now. They took out what they could of the new cancer. Had they taken out more it could have perforated her colon. So, once she is strong enough they are going to start very intensive chemotherapy. So I am supporting her, my Dad, and the rest of my family in any way possible, that is what I am doing.


  8. Oh Justin, I’m sorry to hear that it’s spread. Great that they know what’s going on though. Sending huge healing vibes!


  9. Justin It sounds like you are being very present and loving and strong. I’m sure you are a wonderful support. My heart goes out to you all. I wish I had more than words and virtual hugs to offer. (((hugs)))


  10. Cancer sucks so much. It just keeps on sucking. But sometimes–more and more times these days–people beat it. I hope that’s the case for your step-mom, Justin. Hang in there, and know that you are supported here.

    And congrats on the interview, Nick! The first of many for this little site that could 🙂


  11. New spam!
    This one’s on the Fast Romantics post.

    “I have been browsing on-line greater than three hours these days,
    yet I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.

    It is beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made just right
    content as you did, the net shall be a lot more helpful than ever before.”


  12. well, take yourself out to lunch with compliments like that, Nick!

    I appreciate that poetry of these spams. they’re quite charming, in a way.


  13. I too talk the English language for cause I am also a human. Please in vest your lifesavings in my bestcoin venture.

    (From moi. Your spam is better though: genuine lack of familiarity yields near-poetry.)


  14. loweeda I think so too! (re spam) I keep an eye on an older friend’s website, and now and then I look at the spam comments because some of them are remarkable, they juxtapose fascinating ideas and I honestly do find them poetic and inspiring. Of course, most of it is utter garbage, but… periodic reinforcement (or whatever they call it these days) works on me!


  15. Morning! I am loving this band so far! ❤ Thanks!
    The RNC has got to be all kinds of weird. Too band Hunter S Thompson isn't here. Any time stuff like this happens I look to his ghost.


  16. Hunter S. Thompson at this RNC convention! Could you imagine? Damn, I wish we could see and hear that.

    Kind of related…I’m listening to a podcast interview with Milo Yiannopoulos right now–NOT because I agree with his viewpoints, but because I want to know what they are.


  17. Re the RNC, I saw the Daily Show’s compendium of the hateful, scaremongering speeches of about four of them. I could hardly believe it. It’s like fundamental Christians, except much worse, more hateful. Everything’s Hillary’s fault, and *she* is dishonest — say fans of the Cheetos Serial Liar that no-one of substance wants anything to do with.

    The takeover of American politics by reality t.v.


    Liked by 1 person

  18. @benoit “Unbelievable” is the exact way I would describe America right now. What has transpired in the last year has left me completely dumbfounded.


  19. Trump is a single-handed ‘invasion of the body snatchers’. Mind, if the Tea Partiers are onside, he’s got a yuge headstart.


  20. Re Trump, the RNC and satire, I heard an opinion this a.m. stating that Trump is beyond satire. He’s already a self-parody — that’s the persona — and he’s managing to keep on riding on the strength of a reality-show personality, not that of a fact-checked person.

    IOW, he’s satire-proof, said the person.

    In a way, I agree: Trump’s so egregious that I haven’t been enjoying the usual left-centre shows laughing at him.


  21. It’s not exactly new music (it was released last year, September, I think…) but I’m liking The Phoenix Foundation song “Give Up Your Dreams” at the moment. In part because my sister and I have been talking a lot lately about how hard it is to commodify art.

    I don’t know how to link or embed or anything, but you could copy and paste this address to hear/see the song. Bret McKenzie (of FOTC) is in the video.

    (The Phoenix Foundation are an indie band from Wellington, NZ.)


  22. that’s a fun song, Samara, especially the pep talk in the middle (“the world is not an oyster!”)

    tiffy: that’s pretty hilarious.


  23. @loweeda I’m glad you enjoyed it too. 🙂 The Phoenix Foundation has been around for ages (20+ years, they started the band in high school) but I only learned of them in ’07 because they have a song (songs?) in the soundtrack to a movie by Taika Waiti called “Eagle vs Shark”, which is a very charming kiwi movie, if you ever come across it. Actually, now that I think about it, it has the other FOTC member in it! Jemaine Clement is one of its stars. Those guys are everywhere in NZ music and film…


  24. One month and 10 days after Devin’s kidney stone attack he will finally get that thing blasted out of him. We will be at admitting at 6:30 am Friday. I am glad it will finally be dealt with.


  25. They are playing good music and have added the segments back in. Almost Famous with Yukon Blonde was just played for example.


  26. I found ya’ll again! I kinda sorta forgot about this place when they blew up r3 but then I saw Jeremy post this link to this blog today on facebook. Fanks mang.
    Point is, Radiation Flowers, formerly Powder Blue were one of my fave local bands in Regina (ok from Saskatoon but they played Regina regularly). Don’t tell my wife but before I met her I had a rock’n’roll crush on the keyboard player, who I guess is no longer in the band anyway. It used to be an “all girl” band, now they have duders too. And honestly, I like the “new” sound better, not as droney. But when they were the Powder Blue they played a show with Shooting Guns that was really cool and their smoke machine set of the fire alarm at the venue. There was also a lot of … colorado smoke in the air that night.


  27. I’m listening to the NZ video Samara posted up above, with Bret. I just read an interview the other day with Bret and Jemaine, they are doing a US tour right now. I really like those guys. And as sad as I am for jealous reasons that the FoTC tv show is done and never to return, I like how they have dictated their own artistic situation and basically walked away from it when they wanted to, rather than be bought for more seasons. Googel NY Times Flight of the Conchords interview to read it. I’d post it for yo uhere, but I’m sure you all know how google works.


  28. In case you haven’t seen this yet: Chixdiggit play I Wanna Hump you for newly wed Italian couple. KJ intros it in the standard way he intros all Chixdiggit songs… “this is a love song…”


  29. @Tom – The auto refresh is in the works, but not functional yet. So yes, refresh your page for new comments. F5 makes it easier, IMO.


  30. For moving to Canada… I’d love to! Likely still out west in BC or Alberta, not sure where. For now though with important family stuff going on, am staying in Oregon for the moment.


  31. Continuous thunder is what my night trying to sleep was. There was one particularly loud blast at 3:13 am that scared the shit out of me. I had to get up and go outside to investigate because my sleepy head was certain something blew up and was on fire. Ha!

    *this post was started back at 11:30 am.


  32. @Tom Westoll … the site is still a work in progress. More features to come. As always you and others please let us know what you like, don’t, what could use improvement, etc. The biggest immediate feature want is auto updating comments.


  33. And now for something completely different: a letter to the editor.

    “A June 17 Associated Press article reported on a NASA spacecraft bound for Jupiter to “study how the largest planet in the solar system was formed and evolved.”

    My King James Bible, which all born-again Christians should be using, tells me in John 1:3 that “all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made.”

    What a waste of taxpayers’ money.

    Marvin McFaddin



  34. Oh, I know a thing I would like and that is the option to have links post in new tabs rather than in the same one (I know I can right click and all, but I’m lazy I guess).

    Another thing I would like is no Donald Trump. See what you can do about that, please.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I think there’s no way Trump will disappear.

    A fatal stroke out of the blue is just too much to hope for. And the good die young., so he’s likely to live very old.

    Out again. Have a good end of day, all.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Devin’s sleep pattern is all messed up as well. These morning appointments this week are tough on him. haha


  37. one can not listen to the music and refresh the page to see recent posts … i listened to the radiation flowers and then refreshed. alvvays music first;)


  38. @garfielduk sleep is equally as important as music though. glad you are making an effort to get your sleep patterns dialled.


  39. @darbar based on the spotify playlist for RFF i would have to say that you are going to have one heck of a good time!


  40. iswke as well as the strumbellas have been on my want to see radar for a while but there are so many others that i would be thrilled to see again like the barr brothers. betty lavette is just too cool for school but al simmons is the must hear of your list for sure;)
    there is just enough country so if i was there i would have time to leave the stages to hydrate and eat.
    frazy ford is performing at kasha jazz next weekend too.


  41. I just removed a couple I found that had no reason to be there! Haha! Mario instead of Marijo. There are now 57 songs on there I think.


  42. hmm, i was able to unfollow the one on my spotify profile but when i select the list in your comment #3045 i end up with the old RFF with 29 songs back in spotify


  43. just me and my usual gimpy self on the computers i am sure.
    for now i have a house to vacuum; hosting the inlaws tomorrow for dinner.


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