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Experimental harpist Brandee Younger will kick off Ars Nova’s 2018 season at Johnny Brenda’s

Brandee Younger | photo by Jatiphoto | via brandee.bandcamp.com

Opening for local experimental jazz / rock band Desertion Trio (on their album release party night, nonetheless), New York’s Brandee Younger is certain to deliver a cordial opening set to kick off the celebration this February. Having performed with modern legends ranging from Lauryn Hill to Common, The Roots to Ravi Coltrane, and more recently appearing on NPR’s Tiny Desk series with Moses Sumney, it is clear that Younger has established herself as one of the best harpists in the modern Jazz and R&B scenes – but this wasn’t always her scene. Continue reading →

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Brandi Carlile narrates life of a “Sugartooth” in latest single

Brandi Carlile | photo by Alysse Gafkjenh | courtesy of the artist
Brandi Carlile | photo by Alysse Gafkjenh | courtesy of the artist

The best is yet to come for Washington State singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile. Garnering a devote folk following with her sophomore LP, 2007’s The Story, Carlile topped the charts with the title track. Now, Carlile plans to release the follow-up full length to her 2015 Grammy-nominated album, The Firewatcher’s Daughter. “Sugartooth” is the third single from that forthcoming album, By The Way, I Forgive You, out February 16 on Elektra Records. Continue reading →

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Watch Sylvan Esso perform new single “PARAD(w/m)E” live, see them at the XPoNential Music Festival

Sylvan Esso
Sylvan Esso | photo by Lindsey Kennedy and Meow Wolf | courtesy of the artist

Synthpop duo and all-around pop powerhouses Sylvan Esso released spirited single “PARAD(w/m)E” today, their first new release since 2017’s sophomore LP, What Now. Characterized by a groovable BPM (116, for those counting at home – or out on the dancefloor), crunchy low-end synth hits, and bubbly, percolating synthlines, the duo crafts a fun yet progressive pop track in terms of production. Amelia Meath’s vocals have the power to transport you to brighter warmer days, enticing the listener to “P A R A D with me.” Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Ben Arnold and the 48 Hour Orchestra break through the clouds with soulful jams

Ben Arnold | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

To kick off 2018 and the 13th year of WXPN’s Free at Noon concert series, long-time friend Ben Arnold, who is no stranger to World Cafe Live’s stage, performed a sleek and soulful set despite the abysmal weather currently inhabiting Philadelphia. Appearing in the Free at Noon series in its first year as a trio, the Philly-native returned with a backing band 10 members deep this time around. Dubbed “The 48 Hour Orchestra,” the band provided a spirited brass section, punchy drums assisted by congas, and heartfelt backing vocals to the set. Continue reading →

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Ceramic Animal release sunsoaked single, “So Familiar”

Ceramic Animal | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Earlier this week, Philly-via-Doylestown rockers Ceramic Animal released the long-awaited followup single to their 2016 debut LP, The Cart. Seemingly always donning suits and channeling young love through a psych-tinted filter, “So Familiar” picks up right where the band left off without a drop in quality in the slightest. Continue reading →

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Listen to Daniel de Jesús’ new live album, New Work / Body Works

Daniel De Jesús | via danieldejesus.squarespace.com

This past December, Philadelphia cellist, singer, and songwriter Daniel de Jesús delivered a spiritual live performance at the Moore College of Art. De Jesús constructed the intimate performance around themes from the 1928 silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, and the 11-song set is an Artpop Requiem dedicated to the protagonist. Continue reading →

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Creepoid reveal stacked undercard for final show

Creepoid | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

Towards the end of 2017, Philly indie-rockers Creepoid announced they would be playing their final show ever, slated for Saturday, February 17th at Union Transfer. Just recently the group announced the list of openers, a melting pot of noisey acts hailing from Philadelphia and its surrounding areas. While the styles of each opener reflect the various sounds in Creepoid’s own work, the lineup on paper promises an unforgettable final show. Here’s the rundown on the opening acts. Continue reading →

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Listen to Belle & Sebastian’s feel-good new single “The Same Star”

Belle and Sebastian | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN

Belle & Sebastian start off 2018 by reminding the world of their jangle-pop superpowers. While you may find yourself nodding along to the opening minute of “The Same Star,” the back half of the track elicits full on feel-good grooves from the Scottish group. Anchored by a shimmering guitar solo and immediately followed up with roaring horns, it proves the band’s knack for songwriting has lasted into their 21st year as a group. Continue reading →

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Dig in to Hardwork Movement’s first full-band EP, For the People

Hardwork Movement | photo by Danny Gevirtz | courtesy of the artist | via instagram.com/dannygevirtz
Hardwork Movement | photo by Danny Gevirtz | courtesy of the artist | via instagram.com/dannygevirtz

Hardwork Movement are for the people. If you need any convincing, throw on their new EP, appropriately titled For the People. After a performance-filled Summer to remember for the Philly nine-piece, the group is kicking off the Fall by giving back to their fans in the form of their first EP with the full live bandThe 9-member neo-soul infused hip-hop group held things down at Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival this past June, blessed the stage at our own XPN Fest the following month, and capped the summer off with a headlining set at Underground Arts this past weekend to celebrate the release of the EP. Continue reading →