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Remember Sports transforms personal loss in their new single “Up From Below”

Remember Sports | photo by Carly Hoskins | via facebook.com/remembersportsband

Local indie rockers Remember Sports just announced their new album Slow Buzz, dropping May 18th on Father/Daughter Records. The four-piece formed back in Ohio in 2012, where they just called went by Sports and only saw themselves as a college band with “a meaningless, haphazardly chosen name” and “no expectations of continuing to make music together after graduation.” Their 2015 album All of Something was basically a farewell to that life; now, they’re in Philadelphia and thriving. Continue reading →

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Rapsody releases powerful new video for “Chrome (Like Ooh)”

Rapsody | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN | brotherlylost.com

Roc Nation rapper Rapsody recently released a music video for her song “Chrome (Like Ooh),” and it’s a powerful short film about violence, revenge and abuse of power.

The video opens in grayscale, with the only color being lights on a police cruiser and red lit individual shots. In the video, a group of young men steal a car, and when someone comes back for revenge, the police get involved and a shoot out occurs. The most interesting aspect of the video is that it transitions to full color as soon as the story gets more nuanced. You can no longer differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys. The video ends in a cliff hanger of sorts, which leaves the viewer pensive and with a need to watch it again. Continue reading →

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Rolled Gold flaunts his new skills on “Night Owls Theme” with Ai-Que and Reef The Lost Cauze

Rolled Gold | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly hip hop producer Rolled Gold just reworked and dropped a single called “Night Owls Theme” from an upcoming project, featuring local MCs Ai-Que and the revered Reef The Lost Cauze. The title “Night Owl Theme” is an appropriate match for the lyrics that deal with themes of hard work and the kinds of pensive thoughts you have at night time. Continue reading →

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Listen to Glen Hansard’s intimate showcase of Between Two Shores on World Cafe

Glen Hansard
Glen Hansard | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

From leading Dublin rock band The Frames for 25 years to winning an Oscar for Best Original Song, Glen Hansard‘s earnestly transcendent vocals have the ability to deliver an arresting effect.

Talking with host Talia Schlanger on today’s episode of World Cafe, Hansard talked about the journey to his latest record, Between Two Shores, and performed three songs from the record during a live session at Reservoir Studios in New York City. Listen to the performance below. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: I Think Like Midnight

This week’s Key Studio Session is for those who love to hear artists venture outside their comfort zone.

West Philly guitarist Andrew Chalfen spent the late 80s and early 90s playing raucous power pop in The Wishniaks, around the same time that keyboardist Joe Genaro and drummer Dean Sabatino made weird and wonderful rock music in the Dead Milkmen. As the years passed, Chalfen shifted his focus to the soaring indie tones of The Trolleyvox and connected with folk-leaning bassist Josh Newman, who played with Philly scene staples American Altitude and Heyward Howkins.

The collective project of those four musicians, I Think Like Midnight, doesn’t sound like any of those bands, and is all the more special for it.

Continue reading →

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Embrace the healing power of Andre Altrez’s “Black Power Ambience”

Andre Altrez
Andre Altrez | photo by Cheyenne Chapman | courtesy of the artist

This Black history month has been very healing for me. From being surrounded by love and community at the Black Arts Festival, to crying my eyes out after watching Black Panther, it’s been nothing but positive. I haven’t yet had a moment to reflect on and process the bad, mostly because it’s emotionally exhausting to do so and I’m honestly avoiding it. Recently, Philly rapper Andrè Altrez has provided a valuable space for me to confront the trauma and fears I have associated with my experience as a Black American.

Altrez’s side project Ahza Ahza came about as a coping mechanism; a way for him to process his emotions about police brutality in a productive way through his art. Black Power Ambience is an expansive, 24-minute piece that layers emotional, atmospheric soundscapes and frames various clips of important Black figures like Angela Davis, Nina Simone, and James Baldwin sharing validating commentary about the frustrating but also beautiful experience of being a Black person in America. Continue reading →

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Aqeel Aadam and Sterling Duns meditate on personal growth with new single “Learn to Fall”

Aqeel Aadam | photo by James Sung | via qubicity.bandcamp.com

Philly’s Aqeel Aadam, a multi-instrumentalist and producer who formerly performed as Qubicity, just dropped a new single called “Learn to Fall” with Sterling Duns of Key faves Hardwork Movement.

The track features surprisingly clear flows that contrast distorted, raspy vocals, as well as a tasteful use of autotune. With trap inspired snares and heavy bass, and synth and vocals that are more EDM, they rap lyrics about dealing with negative emotions in order grow as a person with lyrics like “I think I’ve got to learn how to fall / I’m starting to embrace the pain /  Instead of standing in my way.” Continue reading →

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Hop Along wrangles with sympathy and understanding in two parts on “Not Abel”

Hop Along
Hop Along | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist
Philly’s Hop Along will release its latest LP, Bark Your Head Off, Dog, on April 6th via Saddle Creek Records, and today the band released the latest teaser from the album.

“Not Abel” is a journey of a song in two parts. Opening as a stately, waltzing English folk ballad with immaculate string arrangements by Sarah Larsen of local folk faves Ladybird, the song progresses across lyrical images of war and poverty that could be the distant past as much as they could be today. Just before the three minute mark, a dissonant orchestral squall gives way to a rousing indie rock riff, and the song shape shifts into anthem territory for the last minute and 36. Continue reading →