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Jam to Soft Idiot’s genre-mashing track, “Love Like”

Soft Idiot | via softidiot.bandcamp.com

Philly four-piece Soft Idiot released a teaser for their new album, stillborn, and let me tell ya, I’m hooked. The impeccably-named band’s teaser includes two tracks, including “Brother Part I” and “Love Like.”

The latter is the newest release from the album, and is an amalgamation of all kinds of awesome.  I love when songs surprise me, and oh boy did this song surprise me. The track begins in folk punk, singer-songwriter fashion, but then quickly builds into a wopping smorgasbord of different genres. A sweet banjo riff incites a bluegrass feel, only then to be matched by the addition of some psych synth. Then, about half-way through, searing amps and layers of guttural shouts take over, which abruptly fade into a spooky 80s synth send off.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: that’s a lot of different things going on right there. But trust me, all of this actually works together so well. It makes you question why punk-folk-screamo-Americana-synth isn’t already an established genre.  By the end of the song, you’ll be left blinking “what kind of strange beauty did I just stumble upon?” And you will never see the world the same again. Continue reading →

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Experience Rachael Kilgour’s aching heartbreak in “Rabbit in the Road”

Rachael Kilgour | Photo by Graham Tolbert via the artist’s website

Meet Minnesota-based singer songwriter, Rachael Kilgour, who displays her incredible storytelling talents in her latest single, “Rabbit in the Road.” In this heartbreaking, emotional folk ballad, Kilgour crafts a beautifully woven story with her vulnerable and honest lyrics. Like all good storytellers, her words draw complete attention from its listener — making them eagerly grasp at lyrics to come, and hang on to and cherish what’s already past. Continue reading →

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Watch The Dean Ween Group perform “Freedom of ’76” for World Cafe session

The Dean Ween Group | Photo via artist’s Facebook

The Dean Ween Group recently stopped by XPN studios for a World Cafe session with David Dye. A rotating cast of characters fronted by Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo himself, the band played music from The Deaner Album, an nod to Melchiondo’s roots in 80s / 90s New Hope alt-rock band Ween. They also resurrected that band’s slow jam, “Freedom of ’76,” incorporating the song’s traditional falsettos beautifully by having vocalist Carol Brooks take the reigns. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Dove and the Wolf’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye”

The Dove and The Wolf | photo by CJ Harvey | courtesy of the artist
The Dove and The Wolf | photo by CJ Harvey | courtesy of the artist

Cover songs often pose a tricky predicament. Do you stay as close to the original as you can? Completely transform the song into your own?  It’s very risky territory, especially when covering a song by a legend like Leonard Cohen.  But all this didn’t hinder Philly-based indie pop duo, The Dove and the Wolf, from taking the leap and covering Cohen’s “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye.”  And I’m super glad it didn’t, because Paloma Gill and Lou Hayat-Camard’s take on the sweet and simple folk tune is a beautiful gem of a cover. Continue reading →

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OMG: Watch a stunning teaser video of Cayetana’s next album, New Kind of Normal

Cayetana | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Oh my, you might want to sit down for this.

Cayetana posted a 23 second teaser trailer on Facebook late last week, which can only mean one thing: grand-spanking new tunes are on their way. The clip features a slow-mo, reverse shot of what looks like bassist, Allegra Anka, being immersed in a tub of water, with a sharp cut to the bold words “New Kind of Normal.” Oh and not to mention, an ominously-building new song called “Dust” plays for a quick sec. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Jesse Hale Moore oozes emotion in single “Leave You Lonely”

Jesse Hale Moore | photo courtesy of the artist
Jesse Hale Moore | photo courtesy of the artist

In Jesse Hale Moore‘s new single, “Leave You Lonely,” sultry falsettos and a steady, simple drum beat combine with hints of organ and sax to make the perfect moody tune. Reminiscent of James Vincent McMorrow and James Blake, the track paints an emotional and honest portrayal of the end of a long-term relationship. Continue reading →

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Main Street Music celebrates 100th in-store performance with Dave Hause

Dave Hause | Photo by Jesse DeFlorio

On Saturday, February 18th, Main Street Music will have had one hundred killer in-store performances under their belt.  To celebrate this achievement, Philly singer-songwriter/rocker extraordinaire Dave Hause will be capping off the 100th slot with an intimate set at 4 pm. The performance will also feature special guest, Eric Bazilian (of The Hooters) who produced Hause’s recently released album, Bury Me in Philly. Continue reading →

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Listen to LOUDS’ insanely catchy “Touch My Body With Your Skin”

Louds | photo by John Evin Groome for WXPN
Louds | photo by John Evin Groome for WXPN

Self-described “analog dance music” five-piece, LOUDS, just released a single called “Touch My Body With Your Skin” on Bandcamp and holy cannoli, it’s a catchy tune. Really — I’ll bet you five dollars that your foot will start tapping the moment you press play. And if you somehow manage to escape bobbing along to the cheery, carefree melodies, then you are a robot and can have my five bucks.

Members (and brothers) Charlie and Petie Brooks say the song stemmed from a “burst of creativity” that led to the making of LOUDS’ upcoming EP, WE ARE NOT MEN WE ARE ANIMALS. If the other songs are as addicting as this one, they should stick with this new process. Continue reading →

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Party with Strand of Oaks at Main Street Music to celebrate Hard Love

Strand of Oaks' Hard Love | courtesy of the artist
Strand of Oaks’ Hard Love | courtesy of the artist

Next Friday, February 17th, Tim Showalter’s project, Strand of Oaks, is throwing an in-store listening party at Manayunk’s Main Street Music to celebrate the debut of his newly released album, Hard Love — and it’s sure to be a grand ole’ time. Not only do party-goers get to jam out to some awesome new tunes, but those buying LP’s that night will also be treated to an on-the-spot, Showalter designed album sleeve, and have a chance at winning a cassette boom box also concocted by Showalter. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Valerie June delivers a saucily sweet set

Valerie June | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN
Valerie June | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

I think Valerie June may be my new inspiration in life. During her Free at Noon performance, June exuded an infectious presence that was at once completely commanding and saucy, yet still undeniably sweet and quirky.  Naturally connecting with the packed crowd, June possesses a quality that somehow makes each individual feel like they’re her best friend. Continue reading →