The Landscape of Star FK Radium
If you heard that a band had named themselves after a stadium, what exactly would you expect their music to sound like? Something larger than life? Something you could bang your head to? Something, dare I say, you could fist pump to? Although Star FK Radium is somewhat named for the landmark of HFStivals past, you’re currently more likely to see them at Galaxy Hut rather than the Verizon Center. But the music created by this DC trio has a lot to say, even without lyrics, regardless of the venue.
Star FK Radium is the trio of acoustic guitar (Bill Martien), violin (Alissa Taylor), and drums (Matt Clarke). Their first full length release is entitled “Blue Siberia” which evokes a certain physical landscape of sorrow, beauty and solitude. The music obliges by painting emotion through every step of the album. So much so, the record’s producer, Jason Rubal (Dresden Dolls, Bitter Ruin) is quoted as saying “The music of Star FK Radium may be the most haunting I have ever done, while at the same time the most comforting.”
How do you classify haunting, yet comforting? Some have called their music “Chamber Rock”, while the band has taken to the label of “musicbox”. A living musicbox might be a closer description. All three of them are working moving parts and breathe their own life into the music making it less mechanical and more organic. The music isn’t one type of genre, but a multitude of them, blended as they flow and move from place to place. At times, it’s as if you’re witnessing a sonata being painted over an acoustic rock record.
The band’s Myspace page has a quote from someone saying their music would make a great soundtrack, and it’s true. I just happened to be listening to “Blue Siberia” during our recent snow storm (round 1) late at night as I looked out the window. There was a street, usually bustling with life, abandoned, and as the snow fell and the wind blew, the streetlights shown down on the snow, highlighting the emptiness of the area. I thought how fitting the two went together. And that’s the thing about this record, it can elicit feelings of discovery mixed with nostalgia. It’s a land not trekked by many. Haunting yet comforting.