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Leon Bridges shares unreleased tracks on new Coming Home deluxe LP

leon bridges
Leon Bridges | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Former XPN Artist to Watch Leon Bridges is probably a household name by now. After releasing his critically acclaimed debut Coming Home last year, the Texas soul singer played a killer set at Non-COMM, has sold out shows at Union Transfer and The Fillmore and just announced a slot at June’s Roots Picnic.

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Listen to Aphra’s introverted new single “Rooms”

aphra
Aphra | photo by Megan Matuzak | courtesy of the artist

The “About” section on Aphra’s Bandcamp page contains a deceptively complex message. “Moving beyond catharsis,” it reads.

This short phrase might be the unifying theme behind all of Aphra’s music. It doesn’t seek to simply express painful emotions. It actually seeks to heal.

“Rooms,” the second single from Aphra’s forthcoming EP Sadness Is a Gesture, fits this mold perfectly. The song is about vocalist Rebecca Way’s suffering following the end of a toxic relationship. “When people fall in love they tend to put each other on such a high pedestal at first (turning another into a Christ figure of sorts),” Way wrote to the Key. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Two Piece Fest IX at First Unitarian Church, Ben Arnold at Underground Arts, Winter Doldrums Fest at World Cafe Live and more…

two piece fest
Joint Chiefs of Math | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

The ninth annual Two Piece Fest takes place at the First Unitarian Church today. As we previously reported, the day-long event is “an exercise in mayhem and minimalism that brings the DIY scene together, one duo at a time.” This year’s line-up includes Joint Chiefs of Math, Brown Rainbow, Empty Vessels and a dozen more. Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here; listen to Joint Chiefs’ “Get Rich or Try Dyin’” below.

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Listen to a new split EP from Radiator Hospital and Great Thunder

Radiator Hospital | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Radiator Hospital | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Split EPs can often feel scatterbrained. They are, after all, recorded by two different bands. But on Wedding Album, a record put together by Great Thunder (featuring Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield and her touring band mate Keith Spencer) and Radiator Hospital, there is no such discontinuity.

The cohesiveness is rather unsurprising, given the amount of collaboration between the two bands. Released on Stupid Bag Records, the record’s first side is technically Great Thunder territory, but Crutchfield and Spencer actually cover two original Radiator Hospital tracks with “Sleeping House” and “Big Cloud.” The latter is one of the record’s highlights — Crutchfield and Spencer provide a shot of punk adrenaline into what was originally a light hearted, playful track. Featuring Waxahatchee’s quintessential driving guitars and Crutchfield’s layered unison vocals, “Big Cloud” would have been right at home on Ivy Tripp. Continue reading →

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Hot damn, it’s a powerful new rocker from Philly’s Sheer Mag

Sheer Mag
Sheer Mag | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly punk powerhouse Sheer Mag is a reliable source of retro rock n’ roll riffs, fierce garage furor, live energy and instantly memorable hooks – and they’ve racked up all the attendant buzz that goes with that sort of combination. The band just dropped a blistering new song called “Can’t Stop Fighting” on its Soundcloud page, and it is fire. As with Sheer Mag’s best moments, this one makes the most of interplay between Tina Halladay’s unbridled vocal prowess and Kyle Seely acrobatic, Thin Lizzy-style guitar licks. Give it a listen below, and see Sheer Mag tear down Ortlieb’s tonight; tickets and more info at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The Morelings talk music videos and making their record in a Philebrity interview

The Morelings
The Morelings | Photo by Bob Sweeney | courtesy of the artist

Tonight, emerging Philadelphia atmospheric popsters The Morelings head south for a gig at The Pharmacy with Moto Surf, Brackish and Thief, Steal Me a Peach. Leading up to that show, the band got a great spotlight on Philebrity yesterday that we highly encourage you read. In it, Kedra Caroline and Matthew William touch on the behind-the-scenes process of making its debut full-length, shares how it really feels about all those Slowdive comparisons (sorry, guys) and gives insight into the importance of music videos: a viewpoint that super encouraging to read. Continue reading →