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Go back to nature with Under the Oak’s new music video for “Beyond the Physical”

Under the Oak | photo byEllen Miller | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia folk band Under the Oak recently released a music video of their song, “Beyond the Physical,” off their latest album, Big Sky. While the album was released last spring on the Winding Way Records label, the stunning video is brand new and provides listeners with a meditation on what lies our mortal world. In the song’s premiere with Bluegrass Situation, singer-mandolinist Adam Monaco said that “Beyond the Physical” was a “‘gift song’ that came fast and furious.” The lyrics came to him on a beach in Pensacola when his father was sick, but before Monaco knew that his father would soon be brought to hospice care. This song wrestles with grief in a way that feels humble and authentic. Under the Oak doesn’t provide any answers in regards to what happens after our loved ones die, but they do provide a space to come together in meditation and community. Continue reading →

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Lizzo breaks hearts with commanding new single “Cuz I Love You”

Lizzo | still from video

In case you’ve been living under a rock this past month, Lizzo has taken the pop world by storm and her new single, “Cuz I Love You,” is no exception. The single is the title track off her upcoming album, which drops on April 19, and is a dramatic turn from the unstoppable “Juice.” By contrast, “Cuz I Love You” features a crying Lizzo who belts about how much she loves you.

The music video was directed by Quinn Wilson and was shot in black and white. The overall effect is a sweeping, nearly film noir look of Lizzo in a confessional and at the head of the alter table in a church as she sings to an audience of men in tank tops. The song’s chorus , “I’m crying /  Cuz I love you,” is sung alternately by Lizzo and by the men, which creates an interesting narrative twist that is only evident in the video. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Santigold will bring her 10 Years Golder tour to The Fillmore in May

Santigold | photo by Craig Wetherby | courtesy of the artist

Santigold is back on the road this spring with her new 10 Years Golder tour, a run of shows that will commemorate her self-titled debut album by performing the record in its entirety, as well as songs from throughout her career, and her latest mixtape-style album I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions.  Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Chromatics will bring the Double Exposure tour to Union Transfer

Chromatics | still from video

Elusive electronic band Chromatics has returned from a five-year performance hiatus and have announced The Double Exposure tour, which begins on April 30 in Santa Ana, California. The tour will stop in Philadelphia in May at Union Transfer. Along with the tour announcement, Chromatics released a new song called “Time Rider.” The accompanying video is a compilation of neon images that flash, swirl, and transform on screen. Continue reading →

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Kindred Presents variety show brings Kool Moe Dee, Jaguar Wright and more to the Clef Club next week

Kindred the Family Soul | photo by Maya Darasaw for amadworks photography | courtesy of the artist
Kindred the Family Soul | photo by Maya Darasaw for amadworks photography | courtesy of the artist

On Monday February 25, Kindred The Family Soul will brings the latest installment of their Kindred Presents monthly series back to The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and the Performing Arts, where it’s been held since last spring since launching at Warmdaddy’s. No matter the location, Kindred Presents is sure to rock the house. Philadelphia has been a home to soul and R&B music for decades, and Kindred Presents is the embodiment of that long-time love. As always, the show is mix of music performances and live interviews. Think “variety show” but way more energy, power, and personality. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Glen Hansard brings The Wild Willing to Merriam Theater in May

Glen Hansard
Glen Hansard | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Remember 2007 when a movie about two shy songwriters tore your heart to shreds on screen? That was Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in Once, and the good news for you Once-devotees is that Glen Hansard is back with a North American tour this spring. The tour was announced along with a new documentary short, produced by La Blogotheque, about the creation of his new album, The Wild Willing, out April 16 on Anti- Records. Continue reading →

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Beach Bod’s new album Stress You Out is more complicated than it seems

Beach Bod | Beach Bod | photo by Ashley Gellman | courtesy of the artist | agellmanphotos.com

This month, Philly duo Beach Bod returns with a new album, Stress You Out, a collection of songs that pushes the creative boundaries of ambient chill music as we know it. Beach Bod is the brain child of local musicians Rachel Wild and Nathan Avila. The two released their debut EP Carpal Summer in 2016, and dropped a single from this new album, “Little Norma,” in October 2018. On this new album, Wild commands the vocals with a whispered tone, while the two musicians play across all instruments. In its entirety, Stress You Out is a stunning portrait of the complexities of love and loss. Beach Bod strives for an fluid sound that is reminiscent of Courtney Barnett’s EP The Sea of Split Peas and Alvvay’s latest album, Antisocialites, smashed together. It’s laid-back but urgent, relaxed but unsettled. There is something underneath the undulating waves of synth and guitar that weighs on your chest and draws you in to their layered sound. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Emily King brings nostalgia and 80s glam to World Cafe Live

Emily King | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

What do you get when you pair Michael Jackson, Prince, a sequin jacket, and one-hundred mile journey across New York State? You get Emily King.

More specifically, you get King’s new album, Scenery, which explores her move from her home in the South Bronx to Woodstock, New York. The album is bursting with the vibrant spirit of someone who believes in the power of new beginnings. King performed several songs from her new album at the World Cafe Live’s Free at Noon concert today, along with selections from her previous EP, The Switch. Dressed in all black, complete with black satin gloves and a sequined tuxedo jacket, King commanded the stage from start to finish. The crowd clapped, danced, and cheered her on throughout the set — especially when King twirled and danced on stage in razor-thin stiletto boots. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Grupo Fantasma will play World Cafe Live this April with Interminable

Grupo Fantasma | via NPR

Latin funk and cumbia band, Grupo Fantasma, is coming to Philly this April with their new album, American Music: Vol. VII

A 9-piece collective based in Austin, Texas, Grupo Fantasma fuses funk and Latin music to create a vibrant and unique sound. Their new album, their first release since 2015, will tackle identity and citizenship, borders, and questions of who is considered “illegal” in America. While Grupo has faced challenges from the press about the identity of their music, they have pushed back by creating narratives in their songs that complicate easy answers about the “nationality of music.” In their own words,“music is the ultimate assimilator, crossing borders and cultures and mutating to represent the experiences of its performers.” Grupo has six previously released albums and a star-studded collaboration lists with the likes of Prince, Spoon, and los Lobos. They even threw in a Grammy award in 2011 for good measure. Continue reading →

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Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah returns with collaborative album Ancestral Recall

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah | photo courtesy of the artist

Jazz trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah just announced his new album, Ancestral Recall, which will be released on March 22 on Ropeadope Records. Adjuah is a critically-acclaimed jazz-fusion artist whose sound seeks to connect rather than separate jazz and non-jazz styles. His 2017 album, Emancipation Procrastination, is nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album at this year’s GRAMMY Awards. Adujah says his new album “continues his mission to unify people via their musical and cultural voices by tearing down the sonic and social constructs that separate them.” The album will redefine genre lines and explore a new, expansive sound world that encompasses everything from West African and Carribbean rhythms to trap music and alt-rock. Continue reading →