Folk singer/songwriter Heyward Howkins plays Ortlieb’s Lounge tonight. Howkins released a single in December 2012, entitled “Praline Country“, as well as his debut full length The Hale & Hearty in June 2012. Go here to watch a video of Hawkins playing his song “Flimsy Stock”. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Break It Up, Dreambook and Taggart can be found here. Below, enjoy the music video for “Sugar Sand Stitched Lip” off of Howkins’ album The Hale & Hearty.
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Breaking a nearly year-long silence, riot grrrl-inspired Philly three-piece Break It Up announced today that its long awaited self-titled debut LP will be released digitally and on CD on June 4th with a vinyl pressing in the long-range plan. The band has been working on the record for the better part of the past year; they recorded in a quick three-week run with Jeff Zeigler at Uniform Recording back in late summer, while post-production with Dave Downham at Gradwell House commenced through the fall and into the spring.
I caught up with singer-guitarist Jen Sperling over email, and she tells me that the eleven-track album will feature some familiar material from the band’s live setlist, and some brand new cuts. She explains that taking it into a studio world allowed them to dig into each song’s sonic possibilities, “things like layered vocal harmonies, feedback, and other subtle production effects.” Sperling says the result is simultaneously more pop and more grit.
“I think that we’ve been able to further evolve what is an obvious nostalgia for a previous era of bands in our songs, into something more thoroughly modern,” she says.
You can hear that in the first single, “New Penzance.” It builds on the punchy, melodic approach of the band’s earlier singles (see also: “Excavate,” and “Paint the Town“), and crafts a striking contract between snappy pop sensibilities and a fuzzy punk rock drive. Tomorrow, the band makes its first appearance since last summer, sneaking onto a bill at Ortlieb’s Lounge that also features Heyward Howkins and Taggart.
Sperling says she is excited for her return to the stage. “We are definitely ready. We all really love performing, and are eager to present the songs to an audience in that format again.”
“Some of these songs might well be considered ‘old’ at this point,” Sperling continues, “But playing live always breathes new life into them. Anything can happen when you’re interacting with an audience, and that sense of unknown, that energy and mystery, is something we’ve all really missed.”
Below, watch a trailer video of Break It Up in the studio with Zeigler, and listen to a stream of “New Penzance.”After the jump, check out the tracklist of the album.
Falling somewhere between Primal Scream, Happy Mondays and (egad!) Bush, the buzzing Birmingham, England four-piece Peace makes its Philadelphia debut this summer with a headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s on June 10th. The band took a bit of heat for its retro-90s stylistic patchwork from The Guardian’s uber-discerning critic Alexis Petridis when its debut LP In Love was released in the UK earlier this spring. And, sure, the bits that sound the most Gavin Rossdale (“Follow Baby“) are kind of heinous. But more are the moments groove in a tasty britpoppy / Madchester-y fashion, and man do they groove hard and super-enjoyably. The band is poised to erupt in a Django Django-ly direction if it plays its cards right, meaning this JBs show will be an ideal time to catch them in concert. If you don’t believe me, stream In Love at The NME and decide for yourself.
Also on the bill are local openers Weekender, who worship at the alter of Spiritualized and Spaceman 3; their EP has been burning a nice fuzzy sonic hole in our corner of the WXPN office, and this show is their live debut, so it’s an ideal setup for maximum good vibes. Watch the music video for Peace’s “Lovesick” below and stream Weekener’s Spanish Peaks EP; after the jump, you can also listen to “Bloodshake” from Peace’s Delicious EP.
The new Sirens On Snyder EP, a collaboration between Reef The Lost Cauze and producer Haj from Dumhi is out now. The EP features Random, Burke The Jurke, Ethel Cee and Side Effect and was produced by Haj, who writes this about the EP’s background (and his background with Reef):
Back in 2008, I met up with Reef the Lost Cauze for the first time. We made a song called “Squeeze” that night. We have made a LOT of songs together since.
Last October we were recording what would become B.Dawk and Reef was like “we might as well just knock out a little Ep, man.” I was like, “Let’s go!”
I won’t do anymore dialogue in this email. I promise.
So while Reef and Caliph were finishing up “Reef the Lost Cauze is Dead”, I started sketching some beats together and in about January, we started rocking out on Wednesday nights in the basement.
You can check out the music video for “Moonshine” here and stream / download the album below.
After quickly selling-out their Union Transfer date last month, Local Natives have announced another U.S. leg that brings them back to Philadelphia with openers Wild Nothing for a show at the Electric Factory on September 28th. The California indie rockers followed up their stunning 2010 debut Gorilla Manor with the expansive and gorgeous Hummingbird earlier this year. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 17th at noon; more information will be available here. Check out photos from Local Natives’ Union Transfer show here, listen back to their April appearance on World Cafe here and watch a new video for “Bowery” below.