A week ago today, we were heading into the Dover Woodlands for our third day covering the annual Firefly Music Festival. We saw dozens of artists, shot hundreds of photos, and are continuing to sort out our thoughts on the experience — more of which we’ll share with you later this week. For now, take a look at some bonus photos from the weekend, shot by The Key’s Dylan Eddinger. Continue reading →
Singer-songwriter Neko Case is known as much for her work with The New Pornographers as she is for her seven solo albums, and today enchanted a packed house at World Cafe Live upstairs for the Free at Noon concert. Backed by a six-piece band, Neko wielded a Fender Jaguar, her coppery hair veiling her face. “Easy with the cameras…If you film me I’ll forget the words,” she warned. Beyond the firm request for no cameras, the she kept the stage banter to a minimum, moving fluidly through the set.
The band opened with “Man,” a tambourine-heavy song with country vibes that sneers with attitude, the perfect pick to get the crowd stomping. “Hell-On,” the title track of Neko’s latest album, is eerie and echoing. The lyrics weave a mystical setting as if plucked from the pages of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. “Halls of Sarah” is a wistful call in the dark, with wispy, layered vocals. “She didn’t ask to be your remake or your muse / We’re parasites inside her blues,” Neko sang, her voice toying with language, twisting vowels, sweet but never fragile. The set picked up speed toward the end, “Last Lion of Albion” the seam-splitting finale with heavy drum rolls and clanging cowbell.
Dream pop trio Pritty Gritty just released its debut single, “Let It Ring”; it’s about the length of a ringtone and just as incessantly catchy. Vocalists Amy and Alex share harmonies, their voices intertwining over arpeggiating guitar riffs. The lyrics invite twinges of melancholy, capturing the desire to be left alone, begging, “just let me a little vulnerable / let it ring, let it ring, let it ring.” The song was recorded at Miner Street Studio by Julia Rainer, and is a collaboration between Julia Rainer and Girls Rock Philly. Listen below.Continue reading →
R&B songstress Kali Uchis has grown steadily more visible over the last few years with features on recent albums by Gorillaz and Tyler the Creator. Now she’s backing up this year’s sultry, enchanting debut album Isolation with a major tour set to grace Philly’s Theater of the Living Arts on 10/15.
Isolation is available now on all major streaming services and features collaborations from Tyler the Creator, Steve Lacy, Bootsy Collins, and more. Check out the stylish music videos for “One Girl” and “After the Storm” below along with full tour dates.Continue reading →
Philly indie rocker (Sandy) Alex G announced the release of a new live set via Third Man Records, a recording of his performance in the Nashville label’s Blue Room series. The Live at Third Man Records LP features tracks from his latest album, the indie-folk pop outing Rocket, which he’s been promoting on this past tour. The self-released lo-fi bedroom singles that prompted his rise in the DIY scene also resurface on the live record. Listen below for a sample of this intimate, unplugged take on “Bobby,” and grab the full LP here, via Third Man Records. (Sandy) Alex G will play Festival Pier June 23 with Dr. Dog. Tickets and info at the WXPN concert calendar.Continue reading →
Philadelphia-rooted dream pop group Vacationer recently released a playful music video for “Magnetism,” a track from their third full length album Mindset, which is out today via Downtown Records. The roughly four minute video takes you on a ride with all the different shapes, colors, and characters. The song induces a feeling of utter tranquility while the simplistic visuals create a deeper meaning. The creator of the trippy animations, Raman Djafari, based the ideas and sketches on the way the music made him feel. He says: Continue reading →
On the heels of their self-titled album released this past March, Three Man Cannon will be playing a free show at World Cafe Live upstairs, as part of the venue’s Spotlight Artist Series. Signed to Lame-O Records, it’s not surprising that Three Man Cannon incorporate that same punk rock with folk charm that echo the likes of Slaughter Beach, Dog and The Obsessives. Continue reading →
Body/Head, composed of Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Bill Nance, releases their new album called The Switch on July 13th. Just last week they released a new single “You Don’t Need,” five minutes of teeth-grinding guitar effects and haunting noise that could play in the background of a Lynch film; listen to it below. Body/Head will play at PhilaMOCA July 16th; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Experimental pop-star serpentwithfeet is an artist who knows how to power clash, both sonically and emotionally. His music is at once vulnerable and volcanic as influences from the baroque to the Björk collide with each other. On stage, his presence is imposing yet inviting. His debut full length soil, out now on Secretly Canadian and Tri Angle Records, finds him wearing these occasionally messy dualities like finely tailored couture as he sings about the comforts and complexities of queer love. It’s somehow more expansive than his 2016 EP Blisters and more incisive.
He’ll be realizing these narratives on stage at Johnny Brenda’s in Philly next week. It’ll be a semi-homecoming for serpentwithfeet (born Josiah Wise), as he attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia before ultimately moving to New York. To prepare for his return, I had the chance to chat him up about what motivates his creative output, how and when to exorcise one’s inner should, and what parts of Philly he always remembers to visit when he’s back in town… Continue reading →