Radiator Hospital is an outlet for the highly romantic and often noisy punk-bred pop songs of Michigan songwriter Sam Cook-Parrott. Inspired as much by the home-recording aesthetic and acoustic guitar twee punk of the K Records scene built around its more voluminous sects of full-band power pop, the first Radiator Hospital cassette materialized in 2010; Cook-Parrott recorded all the instruments himself. By the time he moved to Philadelphia, signed with Salinas Records, and issued Radiator Hospital's official full-length debut, Something Wild, in 2013, he had recording assistance from friends in the Philly lo-fi scene and had put together a band. Continuing to mix stripped-down guitar songs with more vitalized, full-band arrangements, he recorded his fourth long-player, Sings Music for Daydreaming, entirely by himself for the first time since leaving Michigan.
Cook-Parrott started Radiator Hospital shortly after graduating high school in Grand Rapids, issuing the project's first cassette in January of 2010. A string of cassettes, 7" singles, and local shows followed, with performances sometimes consisting of Cook-Parrott playing solo on either ukulele or acoustic guitar, and other times backed by a more traditional loud rock band of friends made up of players from the thriving Grand Rapids D.I.Y. scene. In September of 2012, after a few years of regional shows and some minimal touring, Cook-Parrott relocated to Philadelphia, moving into a house with members of Swearin' and other Philly punk bands.
Much as he'd taken up various duties in multiple bands around Grand Rapids, Sam quickly got involved with friends' bands in Philly, touring as the bassist in Waxahatchee for a time as well as putting together a new full-band incarnation of Radiator Hospital from a cast of local players. Though the group had released scads of material by various online and grassroots means, the first official full-length, Something Wild, arrived in the summer of 2013 on Salinas Records. It was recorded partially in the same lo-fi manner as earlier cassettes, but aided by the production skills of Swearin' guitarist/vocalist Kyle Gilbride on the more energetic full-band tunes. Still delivering high-spiritedness in two- to three-minute doses on the heartbreak-inspired Torch Song in 2014, Radiator Hospital returned in 2017 with Play the Songs You Like. Recorded by Jeff Zeigler (Allison Crutchfield, the War on Drugs), it featured the lineup of Cook-Parrott, guitarist/vocalist Cynthia Schemmer, bassist Jon Rybicki, and drummer Jeff Bolt.