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Strange Parts presents a complicated chronology of adulthood on its debut LP Oh God, What A Beautiful Time I Spent In The Wild

strange parts
Strange Parts | photo by Adam Haney | courtesy of the band

Strange Parts, the collaborative project of Attia Taylor and Corey Duncan, released their debut LP Oh God, What A Beautiful Time I Spent In The Wild today. The record seesaws between moods, sometimes cynical and gritty, sometimes rosy and sanguine. Despite their contrasting styles, the duo works in synchronized compatibility, delivering a sweeping killer of an album. Continue reading →

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Camp Candle sways along the shoreline in the “Save Me” video

Camp Candle | still from video

Philly electronic duo Camp Candle (Mark “Nu Ra” Cave and Briana “Hetepsa” Mills) just dropped a music video for their new single, “Save Me.” In it, Mills wanders along a dreary beach, waves lapping along the shore. The setting is ethereal, shrined in a glassy quiet, Mills swaying in contented isolation.

It’s a good compliment to the song, which was released last month — Mills has a captivating voice that snakes its way into your bones. Her cadence seems fit for R&B, but somehow pairs well with the funky 80’s dance rhythms woven by Cave, creating a vibrant tapestry of sound that blankets the listener. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Harmony Woods, Kendrick Lamar, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, The Wonder Years and more

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar in the “Alright” video | still from video

Between the ridiculous rain and the Ticketfly “cyber incident” shutdown, it’s been a weird week to be a concertgoing Philadelphian. Don’t let that stop you from getting out and getting to the gig, though. Here are 22 concerts you can see in and around town in the next week, from indie folk true believers The Decemberists to reigning rap king Kendrick Lamar and his Top Dawg Entertainment showcase tour. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Ruen Brothers debuts All My Shades of Blue at World Cafe Live

Ruen Brothers | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN | www.senialopez.photography

The weekend kicked off with a Free At Noon set from The Ruen Brothers, siblings Henry and Rupert Stansall out of Scunthorpe, England. The brothers wore matching bolo ties over button up shirts, crossing midwestern cowboy with 60’s greaser. Their music is nostalgic rockabilly, twanging with grit. The brothers shared a mic, trading harmonies with faces at kissing distance. Colin, who Henry dubbed their “third brother from Detroit,” played drums, pausing between songs to adjust his black plastic eyeglasses. Continue reading →

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Coping Skills chronicle their U.S. tour through the lens of breakfast in the “Bagel, Fruit, Water” video

coping skills
Coping Skills | photo by Josh Stewart | courtesy of the artist

The Philly punk duo Coping Skills, composed of Lauren DeLucca and Rachel Dispenza, recently released a new music video for “Bagel Fruit Water,” and it doubles as a tour diary. Compiled on their recent U.S. run, the video featurs footage of coffee being poured, and snapshots of fruit and morning bagels from local cafes in various cities. The lyrics act as a mantra for nourishment, a nudging reminder of self-care.“My body is a temple but I treat it like my neighbor’s house,” they chant in this head-bobbing grunge anthem. The video documents their journey, offering an intimate peak into their personal lives — one you can explore at greater depth in the full on tour diary they shared with Impose earlier today.  Continue reading →

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Take a trip through Tierra Whack’s surreal visual album Whack World

Tierra Whack | still from video

On Wednesday, Philly hip-hop artist Tierra Whack introduced her surreal visual album, Whack World. Whack combines the attitude of Missy Elliot with the sultry synth beats of Blood Orange, but ultimately curates a unique persona that separates her from predecessors.

The album is a compact fifteen minute set, every song running a minute each. In it, Whack guides the viewer through the carnivalesque spheres of her universe. The cartoonish settings morph into a nail salon, veterinarian office, Chinese takeout joint, pet cemetery, and a living room trashed with the remnants of a child’s birthday party. With each changing scenario, Whack shifts through moods with correlating colors and outfits to match. Continue reading →

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Anika Pyle floats like a tightrope walker in new song “On Self Respect,” plays youth orchestra benefit in NYC

nika nika (aka Anika Pyle) | via anikapyle.bandcamp.com

Dreamy pop-punk artist Anika Pyle of the band Katie Ellen recently released a new solo song, “On Self Respect.” Posted to Bandcamp under the name nika nika, the lo-fi acoustic track is doleful, Pyle’s voice wavering sweetly. She sings like a tightrope walker, floating and full of lightness, but unfailingly sure-footed. The song is a mournfully poignant note on self-forgiveness, a reminder to be kind to oneself despite the  gnawing teeth of insecurity and doubt. It echoes the millennial age message of self-care and wellness meant to combat a generation with plunging self-worth. Anika speaks on letting go of plaguing anxieties to embrace oneself. Her poetic songwriting is minimal and bare, and she attributes Joan Didion as inspiration for her song. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Greg Sover is charismatic and commanding at World Cafe Live

Greg Sover | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

Today’s Free at Noon thundered in with the powerful music of the blues/rock Greg Sover Band. Taking to the stage donning his signature steampunk jacket and flashing a charismatic smile, Sover shook any lingering lethargy from those in the audience in a contagious, energetic performance with his band. The crowd swayed and rocked while shifting psychedelic patterns were projected overhead. The magnetic Sover established an immediate rapport with the crowd, joking in between songs and taking a moment to thank WXPN’s Helen Leicht for spinning their tracks since the beginning. Continue reading →

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Deer Scout, The Naked Sun, Tin Bird Choir and more are among 30+ locals added to Philadelphia Folk Fest

clockwise from left: Tin Bird Choir | photo by Mike Santarelli | courtesy of the artist // Bethlehem & Sad Patrick | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // deer scout | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // The Naked Sun | photo by Charles Wrzesniewski | courtesy of the artist

As the 57th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival finalizes its lineup, over 30 local and regional artists were added to the bill, among them Bethlehem & Sad Patrick, deer scout, Deb Callahan, The Naked Sun and Tin Bird Choir. Continue reading →

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Weller recounts lessons of adulthood in “Boroughs”

Weller | photo by Emily Dubin | photo courtesy of the artist

“Boroughs,” the new single from Philly indie rock band Weller, is a swinging punch of pop punk at only a minute and a half long. The song weaves catchy melodies with vulnerable, personal narratives that the band is known for – lyrics reminiscent of scene leaders Death Cab for Cutie, Tigers Jaw or Modern Baseball.

The trio – singer, songwriter and guitarist Harrison Nantz, bassist Evan Clark Moorehead and drummer Jeremy Berkin – comes across charming, cheery, and down-to-earth in their music, and “Boroughs” seems optimistically upbeat, driven by crunchy guitar riffs. The lyrics, however, tell the story of an unraveling relationship. Nantz sings regretfully about leaving and letting go, recounting lessons of adulthood: “And then we move you away from Jamaica, Queens / White sheets and a cleaner place to sleep / And I’ve already learned my lesson / You haven’t aged since seventeen.” Appealing in its relatability, the song comments on growing out of a relationship like a pair of ill-fitting pants and severing the toxic ties to a past life. Continue reading →