The Radiation Canary Playlist

The reviews are still coming in for The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary, and they’ve all been glowing! Best-reviewed book I’ve ever written. Oddly, I don’t feel proud of myself. I feel happy that people seem to love these four girls as much as I do.  There was some anxiety putting it out there, but reviewers have been putting my fears at ease left and right. So thank you!

The most recent review on Amazon UK mentioned wishing the band was real. I am right there with you! I wish I could pop in a CD and listen to “Say a Prayer (If You’ve Got One)” or “Scene of the Crime.” Unfortunately, short of putting together a Monkees-type dream band, it’s not going to happen any time soon (although if anyone out there has a guitar, a cello, a violin, keyboards, and a set of drums and wants to give it a go, by all means…!)

So the next best thing is to listen to music that resembles Radiation Canary. Artists who, if you close your eyes and let your mind wander a bit, recreate a little bit of what you’d hear on a Radiation Canary album. I’ve been doing it myself so it’s only fair that I share some of the playlist I’ve created so you can go out and, through the power of YouTube or iTunes, make your own!

1) Brandi Carlile – The matron saint of Radiation Canary. She was the basis of Lana Kent’s character, the Seattle rocker with a guitar and curly dark hair. Her voice isn’t quite Lana Kent’s, but the power behind it definitely fits. “The Story” is definitely Karen’s anthem (“These stories don’t mean anything if you’ve got no one to tell them to” makes me think about her journal every time I hear it), and I can hear Lana bringing an entire venue to tears with “Just Kids” and “That Year.”

2) Coldplay – They have a nice balance of hard, noisy music with quiet and introspective songs. Radiation Canary would bring down the house with “Fix You,” and “Viva la Vida” seems custom-made for Karen and Lana to duet. Chris Martin’s voice may be too masculine for the girls (well, usually ;D) but if you want an idea of how they sound you could do worse than popping in “Viva la Vida (or Death and All His Friends).”

3) David Bowie – Perhaps an unusual choice, but definitely a right one. A few of his rarer songs – “Conversation Piece” and “Everyone Says Hi”, both from the deluxe version of Heathen – could definitely fit into the Radiation Canary oeuvre. The first features all the right instruments, and it’s perfectly easy to see the ladies playing along as Lana sings.

4) Sara Bareilles – This would be the Nessa-heavy songs, with a strong focus on the piano and Nessa’s vocals. “King of Anything” is a great example of how Radiation Canary puts together a song, along with “Love Song.” I also think Lana could convince her to sing “Sweet As Whole” in concert.

5) Emilie Autumn – I have a very clear mental image of Radiation Canary performing her cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” with Karen killing a cello, Lana dancing, and Codie performing vocals. Her songs tend to be a bit more baroque and Gothic than I imagine Radiation Canary to be, but for the occasional song it definitely fits.

6) Andrew Bird – Definitely, without a doubt, Andrew Bird. With his violin and crazy literate lyrics, he fits. “Fake Palindromes” is a definite Radiation Canary song, along with… well, too many to list.

There you have it! Maybe not a definitive list, but more than enough for you to go out and explore and maybe get a feel for what the girls would sound like if they did, in some magical alternate reality, exist. And if anyone does create that dream band, I’ll be first in line to buy tickets. ;D