Porridge Radio arrives as the alias for singer Dana. ‘Misery Radio’ is a collection of her work over the last two years, songs written and scratched within her own bedroom and recorded in that endearing DIY fashion. Porridge Radio is one of those artists that I struggle to pin point, Dana presents a sense of self deprecation wrapped within a folk blanket, something that cushions the blow, heightens the sarcasm and exaggerates the torture within her voice. Is this self loathing something serious? Is she having us on? It appears not, it appears this hatred is a wrapped up form of irony and a subtle tongue wedged in the side of her cheek as she moans and bemoans. It is a funny and perhaps wise stab at some of the musicians and bands swimming around this dear city currently – should it all be taken so seriously?
Misery Radio opens with a lacklustre, sloppy number that goes by the name ‘And I Was Like’. Something that seems to pay vocal tribute to Kim Deal’s efforts with The Breeders, a haunting croon, it’s charm lying in the mumble, something tuneful and effortless for Dana. A further effort worth mentioning is one of her previously unreleased songs: ‘Our Love Is Shrinking Down’. This presents a different angle towards her frustration, it is wrapped within warped vocals, angst, too loud to be recorded properly however this furthering the notion that it is a home demo, it is a bedroom song. The DIY initiative behind ‘Our Love Is Shrinking Down’ adds to the emotion, adds to the heartbreak and drama of the whole piece. ‘Eugh’ is the flip side of this. Lyrically, suggesting the same emotion, however demonstrating a tenderness between the angst, a beauty within the grotesque. ‘Pt.2’ acts as a 1 minute 16 second monologue, ‘the worst thing to happen to the twenty first century’, there’s parts Radiohead here (think Fitter Happier), it shows potential for Dana’s experimental side, something that would be fascinating to hear more of in the future.
Misery Radio acts as a warning, perhaps a warning that nothing should be taken so serious after all. There’s nods to various artists I feel, the likes of Joni Mitchell, Radiohead, Du Blonde and The Breeders, all equally interesting and summing up various parts of Porridge Radio. Dana states within the bio of Bandcamp: ‘songs about self loathing, songs about self loving, songs about old friends, new friends, old love/new love/forever love, frustration, sadness, and that feeling, that everything is beautiful and everything is okay.’ Maybe this is the point. Everything is okay.
Misery Radio is available now from eyelessrecords.net, it comes as a limited edition CD with a handwritten zine and photographs taken by Dana. Listen to the 13 track album below.