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Keep up with emerging artists on WXPN’s Discover Local Music playlist, featuring Harmony Woods, OddKidOut and more

Harmony Woods | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Between songs from Danny Black‘s new solo effort and recent Firefly performers Hardwork Movement there’s a sampling of faces from many corners of the regional music community on the new Discover Local Music Spotify playlist curated by WXPN. This is the first iteration of the playlist, which features emerging acts and old favorites alike, and it will be updated and added to regularly as we spotlight the best new music from Philly, Lancaster, the Lehigh Valley, New Jersey, and Delaware.

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Bel Heir announces new EP, listen to lead single “California High”

Bel Hier | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Bel Hier | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly indie pop band Bel Heir have released a new single just in time for your weekend beach getaways (and next weekend’s, and the weekend after that, and your daily commutes, because this single has “summer jam” written all over it). Premiered by Paste Magazine, “California High” is the lead single in advance of the trio’s upcoming EP Washed Up which is slated for a July 21st release and described by the band as “an entire EP of trashy, surfy, beach punk bangers.” Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Captain, We’re Sinking

A product of the remarkably fertile pop punk soil in Scranton, the gentlemen of Captain, We’re Sinking release their third LP this Friday. The King Of No Man, out on Run for Cover Records, is a reflective set of songs about mortality, loneliness and disconnection, and it finds the band’s craft in top form. Which makes sense, as they’ve been at it for a decade. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Get a taste of Noise & Silence’s Cycle Theory EP, out Friday on Exotic Fever

Noise and Silence | Photo by Camille Remeur | courtesy of the artist
Noise and Silence | Photo by Camille Remeur | courtesy of the artist
Philadelphia’s Matt Fleming and Bob Hunter bridge the worlds of aggressive rock and atmospheric soundscaping in their experimental duo Noise and Silence, which releases its debut EP Cycle Theory this Friday on Philly imprint Exotic Fever Records.

Today we’re happy to bring you a taste of that EP with a two-song preview. Opener “Vitamins” roars out the gate with expressive open chord guitar playing and soaring, reverb-tinged vocals, reminiscent at turns of Explosions In The Sky’s The Earth Is Not a Cold, Dead Place and Deftones’ White Pony. While “Vitamins” is solidly stratospheric, “Colorless” is a dynamic rumination, opening on a pensive and measured note, then launching into a cathartic refrain straight out of the early aughts post rock and emo scene. Continue reading →

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Pick up an ACLU benefit 7″ featuring Sad13, Purling Hiss, Louds, and more

Sad13 | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

Philly and Minneapolis-based label Dirty Pillows just released a compilation featuring local artists from both of their homes. Titled ACLU Benefit Vol. 1 Phl/Mpls, the compilation is the first in a series of benefit releases that will split its tunes between two cities, and then donate the proceeds to those local community’s ACLU chapters.

This a-side of this first installment boasts Philly artists (woo we’re #1!) including Sad13, Louds, Dulls, Harsh Vibes and Purling Hiss. Making up the b-side are Minneapolis-based artists France Camp, Sasha Conda, 3M 1995, The Cult of Lip and Fog. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Harmony Woods


Give Sofia Verbilla a chance to blow you away with her music. Verbilla leads Harmony Woods, a new Philly-area band whose debut Nothing Special is actually absolutely special for many reasons, least of which being that their talent is far beyond any member’s age. And people are listening; the excitement and enthusiasm around Harmony Woods right now is palpable: the Internet is aflutter with support, gigs are being booked, plans are being made, in-studio sessions are being recorded (after high school graduation parties, of course). John Vettese of WXPN/the Key writes that listeners might hear echoes of emo-revival acts like Sorority Noise and Modern Baseball or emotive songwriters like Mitski, I heard traces of groups like Rainer Maria and Seam too. However, any hype you feel or I create should not distract from the fact that Verbilla and Harmony Woods are just starting to scratch the surface of an immense imagination, flex a muscular gift for songcraft and storytelling, and put on display a compelling and energetic live show. You’re damn right it’s powerful stuff.
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Join Katie Ellen’s “Sad Girls Club” in anthemic new single

Katie Ellen | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Katie Ellen | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

It took a good two seconds into Katie Ellen’s new single, “Sad Girls Club,” for me to be completely hooked. Yes, I would like to join the club, please. Is there a mailing list? I will sign now, thank you.

The personal, lyrically-driven anthem of a song mashes together any kind of insecurity one might feel for being different or straying from the collective normativity that is life (sigh), and effectively stomps it to bits with clattering cymbals and searing guitars. Continue reading →