By

“An Art Project With Multiple Layers”: Getting to know Carol Cleveland Sings ahead of their new album Effervescent Lure

Carol Cleveland Sings | photo via facebook.com/CarolClevelandSings

Thomas Hughes and Gretchen Lohse are longtime creative collaborators in the regional music scene, the former a solo artist and former leader of the indie-folk ensemble Yellow Humphrey, and the latter a member of DE indie pop favorites The Spinto Band. Over the past year, they’ve worked together under the banner Carol Cleveland Sings – a delightful synthpop outfit with a penchant for dazzling, retro-stylized music videos.

Fans of The Magnetic Fields will find a lot to like in their sound, but the look of their project is just as crucial, and the Carol Cleveland Sings Vine channel is clever, fun and very popular. Hughes and Lohse, both visual artists in addition to musicians, use it to tease song ideas while also playing on pop culture touchstones like Pokemon and Stranger Things.

With its visual identity firmly established, Carol Cleveland Sings is stepping out with its first full-length of recorded music this fall. This morning, it announced the release of Effervescent Lure on Humble Twin Records. To mark the occasion, we’re premiering the song “Black Canvas” – which was teased in six-second format this spring on Vine. Lohse says it generated a lot of excitement and questions about when the full track would be available. Listen to it below, and read an interview between Hughes, Lohse and myself about the genesis and scope of Carol Cleveland Sings. Continue reading →

By

From Philadelphia to New Orleans, Carsie Blanton talks recording her latest album So Ferocious.

Carsie Blanton | Photo by: Bobby Bonsey Photography
Carsie Blanton | Photo by Bobby Bonsey Photography

Carsie Blanton spent eight years in Philadelphia – the longest, the Virginia-born songwriter says, that she’s lived in one place as an adult. She arrived here as a teenager, forged strong and lasting connections with the local songwriting community, played a key role in developing the city’s swing & blues dancing scene, and just generally won our hearts with her captivating warble, her sprightly metaphors and her signature flower-adorned curls. Continue reading →

By

Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds: Mercury Girls

13886409_637903916386381_565464241717155312_n

It’s been a brutal summer this year, the type of brutal that makes me curl up on the couch in the air conditioning with my cat and watch re-runs while sipping a (whiskey) lemonade. (Some call it the dog days of summer, I call it the cat days). One thing that’s been helping me survive? Making playlist of my favorite songs, just like I did back in high school, when summers were alll about cruising through in town my ‘93 Taurus, windows down and cool jams on the tape deck. (Some of my friends had CD players, but I kept it old skool).

Philly five piece Mercury Girls are essential mix-tape material. The band burst onto the scene just 2 years ago, but has already morphed into one of the city’s brightest up-and-comers, thanks to a sparkling mix of warm vocals, playful guitars, and plenty of fuzz—earning props from everyone from Brooklyn Vegan to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s Kip Berman, and sharing stages with Fear of Men, Beverly, and Allo Darlin’ (during Pop Fest ‘16). Earlier this year, their 7” “Ariana”/”All That Heaven Allows” dropped on Slumberland Records; later this fall, they will hit the road with Balance and Composure for a North American tour. Continue reading →

By

Meet Killiam Shakespeare, listen to Killiam Season 1

Killiam Season 1 mixtape cover | via Bandcamp
Killiam Season 1 mixtape cover | via Bandcamp

Killiam Shakespeare is Philly-based collective, led by drummer and producer Steve McKie and keyboardist and producer Corey Bernhard. Having released their debut album in 2015, they’re back with a new mixtape that they worked on in collaboration with Philly’s DJ Jazzy Jeff, Killiam Season 1. Continue reading →

By

YJY provides the perfect end of summer soundtrack with a new EP, The Same Noise

YJY | photo by Jill Hendershott | courtesy of the band
YJY | photo by Jill Hendershott | courtesy of the band

Jersey alt wunderkinds YJY just released their sophomore EP The Same Noise — and it’s anything but. Hurdling the band into more refined territory since debut EP Couch Surfin’ USA, piecing together four tracks with diverse qualities and standing out from the rest of the scene, YJY’s The Same Noise is the result of being unabashedly true to yourself and your craft — a mentality that simply couldn’t end in the status quo. Comprised of surf-tinged opener “Summer Lifeguard,” quirky pop “Past My Prime,” the anecdotal “Through Being Hip” and light as air closing track “Evergreens,” the new EP captures a mood and translates it amongst several different sounds and styles. Continue reading →