Every so often, something comes my way that doesn't just sound good, it also sounds important. I had caught wind of this Honey Radar release through previously-of-Philly-now-of-Berlin guitar wizard Brendan Codey, who then led me to Treetop Sorbet, a tape label based out of Philadelphia. Knowing that in due time I'd be starting a blog here on Impose about music in Philadelphia, I wanted to save this little gem until that day sprang. But with naming conventions stalling me, it seemed that I couldn't put it off. So here we are, talking about Honey Radar.
This tape is 8 minutes long, and I dare say it would sound unusual if it were any longer. Each song is heavy with fuzz and tape-manipulated pitch shifting, making the guitar feel like it's practically omnipresent. It's both the headlights and the bumper sticker—it presents itself as the leader of the songs, shining over them with poppy, terse chord jumps, but since each song is so limited in length, the guitar also manages the occasional fallback. Honey Radar gets its longevity from the wide longing of Jason Henn's vocals, which feel compacted and stuffed into a plastic echoing microphone toy. The release is some elements of The Byrds, the coyness of Ray Davies, and riddled with a not overly punchy bass. The drums are compressed until they sound practically hidden. The great revelation in Honey Radar is that the internet exists exactly for this: it's unlikely that there will ever be a show, and with the diminishment of mixtape distribution among friends, how else would these time-traveled tunes hit our radar? Ironic, in some ways, that a sound so distinctly settled in the past can only stand to survive in such a modern time.
Listen to the elusive Honey Radar's 8-minute debut below, and then pick up the tape through Treetop Sorbet here.