CRUISR share new single “Take That” along with a re-recording of “The Fritz”

Cruisr | photo by Chris Sembrot | courtesy of the artist

I’ve been a fan of Philly indie-pop juggernauts CRUISR since they still had the E in their name. I remember hearing their song “The Fritz” from their self-titled EP four years ago, and its been stuck in my head since. Today, they shared another catchy new single, “Take That,” along with a re-recording of “The Fritz” as a B-Side.

“Take That” continues with the band’s brand of poppy windows-down surf rock, similar to their hit “All Over,” but with more of a dance-based beat. Vocalist Andy States sings “We can make the rules, we can break them too” in a youthful voice that makes you want to throw all your cares to the wind. Continue reading →


Hemming’s Candice Martello (and friends!) walk the music industry’s rocky road in the latest Shaking Through

Hemming’s Candice Martello and Cayetana’s Augusta Koch with Three Man Cannon’s Matt Schimelfenig in Miner Street Recording | photo by Gabriel Greenberg | courtesy of the artist

Philly’s Hemming has become a force of nature on the Philly show scene over the past year. Whether she’s performing with a band or playing solo, in a quiet living room or a loud bar, frontwoman Candice Martello’s cathartic delivery and deep ruminations have an uncanny ability to make a crowd stop and listen.

But she’s also present on the scene in another way: you’re just as apt to see Martello in the audience, cheering for her friends on stage, as you are on a lineup. There’s a real sense of camaraderie and real emotional connectivity to what Hemming does, and those things converge massively on the opening episode of the new season of Shaking Through. Continue reading →


Delta Spirit frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez digs deeper at Boot and Saddle

Matthew Logan Vasquez | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN |
Matthew Logan Vasquez | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN |

On Tuesday night, Delta Spirit frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez made a stop at Philadelphia’s Boot and Saddle, performing material from his new album Solicitor Returns. The new collection dives into a harder rock and roll aesthetic and is crafted with manic instrumentals. The album is also comprised of a few ballads that have a strong way of hypnotizing you, “Bound To Her,” being one of them.

Vasquez’s new music really seems to dig a little deeper, and that showed watching his solo performance at the Boot. The singer songwriter played his wailing hit “Maria,” telling the crowd it was a story about the devil. Later in the set we heard an energetic singalong of “Halfcoalt.” Vasquez even brought us back to his Middle Brother days performing the super group’s hit “Blue Eyes.” The night closed with a bunch of shirtless men moshing to the the tortured “Everything I Do Is Out,” Vasquez proving that he continues to be a prolific songwriter with his gritty rock anthems. Continue reading →


The Key Studio Sessions: Laser Background

When we last heard from them, Philly’s Laser Background was feeling a lot more confrontational. The project of songwriter-composer Andy Molholt led its psychedelic pop tunes down dark and abrasive corners, exploring harsh realities of life in a candy-coated sheen that was equal parts hooky and demented.

In our interview from 2013, Molholt talked about that process of drawing his listeners in, pushing them over the edge and then pulling them back from the abyss. A few years time has passed, and on the new LP Correct – out on May 13th via La Société Expéditionnaire & Endless Daze – Molholt feels less angry and more focused. The project is still unconventional, to be sure. It might still pose a challenge to listeners who, when they think psychedelic, they think The Monkees.

But it also finds Molholt keeping his pop craft front and center as it assembles lucid lyrical puzzles evoking the clash between nostalgic memory and alternate reality. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head

A brief pause of life with Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum

Wild Nothing | Photo courtesy of the artist
Wild Nothing | Photo by Shawn Brackbill | courtesy of the artist

Jack Tatum thinks himself less as a real musician than a fan and student of music. As Wild Nothing, he communicates what he’s learned and loved about pop-rock greats like Fleetwood Mac and The Cure with crystalline clarity. Never has that love sounded more cinematic than on his latest record, Life of Pause. He’ll be presenting Pause live this Saturday at 714 as an all too fitting soundtrack for the Making Time Sweet Sixteen Party. Beforehand, I caught up with Tatum to chat about the album, how the sound of Philly influenced it along with many others, and what not to call his music.

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Drive Like Jehu announce reissue of “Bullet Train to Vegas” b/w “Hand Over Fist”

Drive Like Jehu | via The Line of Best Fit

Situated in the middle of the brief list of Drive Like Jehu releases, the San Diego post-hardcore band’s 7″ stands out as the midway point in their initial stint as a band as well. “Bullet Train to Vegas” and its b-side “Hand Over Fist” were first released in 1992 on Merge Records, to be followed up by only Yank Crime in 1994 and the four-piece’s subsequent breakup in 1995.

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Cult pop icons My Favorite bring new songs to Space 1026

My Favorite | photo by Jenny Panic | via Bandcamp

NYC indiepop outfit My Favorite has dwelled in the world of underground cult classics for a while now, but the band just released a 7″ of new singles, their second batch of new material since reuniting in 2014. The quintet will bring the recordings to Space 1026 on May 20th for a show with Philly’s Mercury Girls and and The Snow Fairies – the latter being another reunited band from the pop scene.

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Beyonce adds a second date at The Linc, which is awesome since I can’t stop listening to Lemonade

Beyonce | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Since the visual album dropped two weeks ago, and the album-album followed in short order, pop icon Beyonce‘s latest opus Lemonade has quickly ascended to the top of my regular music listening.

Its twelve tracks cover a remarkable amount of territory, from gospel to country to badass rock and roll to experimental electronic, and fitting them into my day somewhere has become something of a ritual. And it’s looking like the binge won’t stop any time soon – Bey just added a second Philly date to her Formation World Tour. She’ll be at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday, September 29th, according to Brooklyn Vegan. Tickets are on sale Friday, May 13th at 10 a.m. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Basecamp at MilkBoy, Elison Jackson at Ortlieb’s, Mastodon at the Electric Factory and more…

Basecamp | Photo by Dylan Reyes | courtesy of the artist

Basecamp headline this month’s Communion Residency at MilkBoy. The Nashville electronic trio released their sophomore EP Greater Than last year, leading with the smoothly chopped single “Watch My Back.” Listen to that track below and pick up tickets for the 21+ showcase here.

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