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As Creepoid prepares for its final bow, Lovelorn debuts with “Chains”

Philly’s Creepoid is playing their farewell show this Saturday the 17th at Union Transfer, but three-fourths of of the band are continuing on under the name Lovelorn, and they’ve just released their first single “Chains”.

With bassist Anna Troxell at the front, the song is sleepy and atmospheric with hazy, distorted guitar, steady drums and bass, and far away, airy vocals. One thing that especially caught my interest was the way the guitar interacts with the vocals, at times functioning the same as backup vocals would. The lyrics are interesting and imaginative with lines like “So take me away to my next big mistake / down through the gutter and out the gate.” Continue reading →

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Kilamanzego just dropped a strange and magical new single

Kilamanzego | photo courtesy of the artist
Kilamanzego | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly experimental electronic artist Kilamanzego just dropped a new single “picking my kalimba from a distance.” First of all, I love this; this song is a weird, magic, dope blend of alluring synths, minimal percussion, electronic noises, and bass that you feel as much as you hear. The song takes you on a ride as it progresses, adding and subtracting layers before a graceful fadeout. Soundcloud user Love Junior encapsulated my thoughts on the song with the comment “You a weird and talented mf. Love this.” Continue reading →

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Jasmine Cassell flexes her songwriting skills on S7VEN EP

Jasmine Cassell | via facebook.com/jasminecassellmusic

New Jersey singer songwriter Jasmine Cassell focuses on love for her recent EP S7VEN. Different types of love; self love, the love of God, romantic love. The lyrical theme, mixed with superb instrumental arrangements, made this project a standout debut.

I had heard Jasmine Cassell perform “Let Me In” live, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear some layered 80s synths — a signature style of producer Lee “LeBeet” Clarke, who has also worked with Kate Faust and Kingsley Ibeneche. That sound could have easily been a very cheesy move, but it works so well for the song and compliments the melody really well. The melody is catchy, and the way the chorus comes in makes this perfect for an impromptu car karaoke session. The lyrics echo Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady” sentiment with lyrics like “You’ve got a lot of baggage, girl. / Let me in so I can trash it, girl.” Continue reading →

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NPR’s 2018 Tiny Desk Contest is here

via NPR.org

NPR Music has just announced the 2018 Tiny Desk Contest. Over the years, the contest has racked up thousands of submissions, and introduced the world to artists like Tank and the Bangas, Gaelynn Lea and Fantastic Negrito.

The contest is open to unsigned artists of any genre. Submissions will be open from February 20th to March 25th at 11:59 PM ET. You’ll need to create a video of you performing one original song at a desk, and upload that to YouTube along with your submission form. You can read all of the official rules here. Continue reading →

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Lady Alma, Ursula Rucker, Jacqueline Constance and more bring the love to Kimmel Center’s Valentines Day edition of Sittin’ In

Lady Alma at Kindred Presents | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Need last minute Valentines Day plans? The Kimmel Center’s regular Sittin In live session is back with a lineup curated by jazz bassist Anthony Tidd and featuring lots of awesome Philly artists like poet Ursula Rucker, singer Lady Alma, experimental sound-looper Jacquline Constance, guitarist Tim Motzer, plus Range da Messenger, Chartel Findlater, Lee Mo, Luke O’Reilly, and Mario Crew.

It also happens to be the 6th anniversary of the Kimmel’s Sittin In, and they hope to channel some historic Philly party energy. Continue reading →

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The Wonder Years gear up for the release of their new album, Sister Cities

The Wonder Years | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

This past week has been a good one for Philly. First the Eagles get to the Super Bowl, then they win the Super Bowl, and now hometown pop-punk favorites The Wonder Years are evidently releasing a new album called Sister Cities.

The record (which may or may not be a Hop Along reference) is due out on April 6th, according to Alternative Press, though the band itself and its label, Hopeless Records, appear to still be in teaser mode. The only information that’s “officially”out is a trailer released on Monday, featuring clips from their travels and past shows, explaining that the new album is based on their experiences growing as people while traveling the world on tour. Continue reading →

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AnnonXL tag-teams with rapper Eli Capella on the expressive, impressive “Finer Things”

via twitter.com/annonxl

Philly crooner AnnonXL is bringing a breath of fresh air with his whimsical electronic R&B. His latest project JUMP is full of chill, rich, relatable R&B gems, but a definite standout track is “Finer Things” featuring Philly rapper Eli Capella. It’s a song about wanting a non performative relationship with lyrics like “You don’t have to buy me things. / You don’t even have to dress up.” Continue reading →

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Philly collective Sofra spans jazz, hip-hop, funk and soul new EP Not so Not Familiar

Sofra | via sofra.bandcamp.com

Sofra is a Philly based musical collective that has recently released their EP Not so Not Familiar. The term Sofra is Turkish for ‘dinner table’ and speaks to the communal function of their music, not just with the musicians themselves, but also with their listeners. The EP was made in the home studio of Philly area drummer / Key photographer Noah Silvestry, who plays on the record. The quality of the music is quite impressive for a DIY home studio setup. The EP features verses from Sterling Duns and Rick Banks of Philly hip-hop group Hardwork Movement, as well as Qil Rogers.

One of the standout instrumentals on the record is “A Lot to Remember”. It’s an interesting mid-tempo piece that switches up just enough to keep the listener interested without going overboard and getting too busy. I appreciate the way the instruments in this track compliment each other, with no one musician getting too showy or overpowering. It’s a solid display of the group’s musicianship, and the song makes you feel like you’re moving towards something positive. Continue reading →

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Aleana puts words and emotions in the forefront on her Chapter 22 EP

Aleana | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Aleana | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly vocalist Aleana has just released her EP Chapter 22. The EP chronicles the beginning and the end of a romantic relationship, as Aleana sings through emotions from sprung to completely over it. I immediately noticed her vocals, which have a clean and real quality to them. She’s not too flashy a singer, and her voice isn’t buried in effects and plugins, which makes the music more relatable.

Some standout tracks from the EP are “Divine Creatures,” “Dear Darla,” and “Careless.” “Divine Creatures” probably has the best vocal performance on the whole project; the emotion of the song is clear and evident in the vocals as well as the lyrics. The fade out at the end of the song is an interesting choice as it emphasizes the romance of the song by implying that she could go on and on forever about how great love is. Continue reading →

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Kwesi’s “Smile 4 Me” is your new hairbrush jam

Kwesi
Kwesi | photo by Adam Battaglia | courtesy of the artist | adambattaglia.com

Since moving to LA, singer songwriter Kwesi Kankam has been rebranding, including a stage name switch to just Kwesi, and experimenting with other genres. The single “Smile 4 Me” is a slight departure, or rather an evolution of his established pop/folk sound, and features Kwesi dabbling in contemporary EDM, while staying true to his gentle, easy on the ears style. The song is about focusing on the positives and choosing to see the best in life. It’s definitely a mood booster and a subtle sing-into-a-hairbrush jam. Continue reading →