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Ivy Sole gets honest on socially-conscious, self-aware track “Rooftop”

Ivy Sole | photo by Araba Ankuma | courtesy of the artist
Ivy Sole | photo by Araba Ankuma | courtesy of the artist

Ivy Sole, friends. If you have not yet become acquainted with this Philly rapper’s beautiful, conscious lyricism and easy-going yet meticulous beats, you’ve got some required listening to do. Especially her single, “Rooftop,” which is a new track off her upcoming EP, WEST, out on July 26th. Continue reading →

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Study up on the XPNFest lineup with these ten World Cafe interviews

Clockwise, from left: Strand of Oaks | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN // Angel Olsen | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN // Hurray for the Riff Raff | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN // Foxygen | photo courtesy of the artist

NPR’s World Cafe and XPN Fest are two peas in a pod. They’re great pals, they are. They even share some mutual best buds, who all coincidentally happen to be wildly amazing artists. These musical friends stopped by to hang at World Cafe with hosts Talia Schlager, David Dye and Ann Powers over the past year, and are now gearing up to pay XPN Fest a visit. Brush up on your XPoNential Fest artist knowledge and get psyched for next weekend by checking out a list of XPN Fest artist World Cafe sessions below. Continue reading →

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Get emotionally sucker-punched by Florist’s new track, “What I Wanted To Hold,” see them at Boot and Saddle

Florist | photo via florist.bandcamp.com

You know those songs that just kind of sucker punch you with all of the feels? Indie folk / soft synth outfit Florist’s song “What I Wanted to Hold” is one of them. The NY band just shared the heartbreaking single in anticipation of their upcoming sophomore album If Blue Could Be Happiness, which is out on September 29th.

Opening with floaty acoustic strums and the sounds of a life in rewind, the song immediately conjures an intense nostalgia that rivals the likes of Bon Iver’s “Re: Stacks” or “Towers.” Its gentle, sweet chords grab your heart — piercing it with an ache that was nonexistent just moments ago.

And this is all before frontwoman Emily Sprague even opens her mouth. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Shoegaze legends take the crowd on a buzzing, high octane Ride

Ride | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Fuzzed-out, atmospheric, gauzy greatness. Yep, you guessed it – I’m talking about shoegaze. The late 80’s genre brainchild has been seeing a major resurgence as of late — whether it be newcomers or pioneers making long awaited returns — and I’m most definitely not complaining about it. Neither was the Free at Noon crowd today, who piled in droves this muggy afternoon to WCL to give a warm (literally) welcome back to shoegaze legends, Ride.

R-I-D-E. These four letters stood big and bold behind the band as they made their way onto the stage. One letter for each member, the backdrop served as a concrete and symbolic visual cue of the band’s sturdy comeback even before they started to play. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Weather Station’s single “Thirty,” get ready for new self-titled album

The Weather Station | photo courtesy of artist

As a young woman, you quickly learn growing up that turning the big “three-oh” is basically the equivalent to getting the plague. Somehow, some way, you must escape this fate at all costs. Well, unless you’re a young Jennifer Garner character in a spectacular rom-com, that is. A magazine headlining “flirty, thirty, and thriving?” I scoff at such lies.

Canadian singer-songwriter, Tamara Lindeman, does too. She knows the binary routes society has set out for women approaching their third decade of life: “children and suburbia or some sort of cartoonish loneliness.” Working as her project The Weather Station, Lindeman delves into this sexist matter on new single “Thirty,” which will be included on her upcoming self-titled album out on October 6th via Paradise of Bachelors. Continue reading →

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Listen to Queen of Jeans cover Gwen Stefani’s “Cool” on Sophia Coppola film cover comp

Queen of Jeans | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

The music featured in filmmaker Sophia Coppola’s films always have a major purpose. These carefully-selected songs work with the scenes rather than just sitting idly atop them. In tribute to Coppola’s musical reverence, indie label Superfan 99 have released a cover compilation of songs that have found new homes in Coppola films throughout the years. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kendrick Lamar at Wells Fargo Center, Ages and Ages at Johnny Brenda’s

Kendrick Lamar | album cover via artist’s Facebook page

It’s Kendrick Lamar, people. I think that’s all that needs to be said in persuasion of the hip-hop king’s Wells Fargo Center show tonight. Not only will Kendrick be performing his acclaimed album DAMN., he’ll also be joined by a solid lineup of Travis Scott and D.R.A.M.. So be there or be square. Check out the latest video release from the album for “ELEMENT” below and get tickets and more information here. Continue reading →

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Listen to The War on Drugs’ new slow-burner “Strangest Thing”

The War on Drugs | photo by Dustin Condren | courtesy of the artist
The War on Drugs | photo by Dustin Condren | courtesy of the artist

The War on Drugs new album A Deeper Understanding is quickly approaching — just about a month away to be (kind of) exact. But this doesn’t mean we can’t be spoiled to more sneak peeks before then. Joining the lineup of singles “Thinking of a Place” and “Holding On” is the recently shared track, “Strangest Thing.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Pkew Pkew Pkew at Boot and Saddle and The Hooters at Ocean City Music Pier

Pkew Pkew Pkew | photo via artist’s Facebook

Toronto’s Pkew Pkew Pkew is more than just an incredibly fun name to say. Despite their giggle-inducing title, these four dudes also rock pretty dang hard. You can catch their urgent, fast-paced jams at Boot and Saddle tonight. Check out their recent Audiotree session below; then find info on tickets for the 21+ show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →