R.I.P. Damien DeRose of Peasant, 1985-2015

Damien DeRose of Peasant | Photo by Heidi Schlenzig
Damien DeRose of Peasant in the WXPN Studio | Photo by Heidi Schlenzig

(UPDATE: We received word from the family that Damien’s Celebration of Life takes place at Aldie Mansion, 85 Old Dublin Pike in Doylestown, on Saturday Nov 28 from 1 to 3 p.m.)

Bucks County singer and songwriter Damien DeRose, who has been making heartfelt and sensitive music under the name Peasant for over a decade, passed away last night at Temple University Hospital. He was 30 years old.

DeRose first began performing on the Doylestown scene as a teenager with an acoustic guitar in the mid-thousands. His self-released debut, Fear  Not Distant Lover, came out in 2005. DeRose garnered national and international acclaim following Peasant’s 2008 sophomore record On the Ground, released on Paper Garden Records and distributed through Conor Oberst’s Team Love label.

His music struck an emotional chord with listeners: beautiful melodies set to affecting arrangements, lyrics of personal introspection, and a voice that was delicate and captivating. It channeled Sufjan Stevens, Jackson Browne, Elliott Smith and Simon & Garfunkel, putting DeRose on the radar of All Songs Considered, Paste, Daytrotter and many others; several songs like “Fine is Fine” were licensed for use in TV shows. Continue reading →


Now Hear This: Ween is reuniting, playing shows in Colorado

Ween onstage in 2013 | photo via

Fans of New Hope avant-pop favorites Ween have been holed up in bummertown for a few years now. Though the band has historically phased in and out of activity, co-frontman Gene Ween (nee Aaron Freeman) announced back in a 2012 Rolling Stone interview that the band was over, a blow their many devout fans still feel. Freeman toured behind a well-received solo album, and longtime collaborator Mickey Melchiondo toured as The Dean Ween Group (which was essentially 4/5 of the longtime Ween live band) but it wasn’t the same. Until today, that is, when it was announced that Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo Jr. will be resuming their partnership and perform once again as Ween. Continue reading →