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Julien Baker’s new “Appointments” is a heartbreaker in the best way

Julien Baker | photo by Nolan Knight | courtesy of the artist

If you’re in need of an emotion-filled song to listen to this weekend, Julien Baker has got you covered. The Tennessee songwriter has been a favorite of folk and indie crowds alike for quite some time now, and just announced her upcoming sophomore album Turn Out The Lights, due out October 27 on Matador Records. The first single, “Appointments,” is a bit of a heartbreaker, but that doesn’t make us any less excited to hear the rest of this highly anticipated record. And Philly, we’re in luck – Baker’s extensive fall tour hits Union Transfer on October 29, with support from the always-excellent Half Waif. Tickets are on sale now, and it’s sure to be a show you won’t want to miss. Continue reading →

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Watch Harmony Woods perform “Negro Y Azul” at Bad Dad Productions; see her open at the Church this fall

Harmony Woods performs “Negro Y Azul” | Bad Dad Music | still from video

Sophia Verbilla’s Harmony Woods recently stopped by Bad Dad Music Productions and performed one of my favorites from her insane debut album Nothing Special. You can catch that below.

Titled “Negro Y Azul,” this track is loud and quiet and charged and soothing. Add in the narrative storytelling-type lyrics, and that crazy catchy guitar hook, and there’s a whole lot of feelings to go around. Continue reading →

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Listen to Kyle Pulley of Thin Lips talk Beatles, bass, and producing Philly’s coolest tracks with Dan Drago on 25 O’Clock

Thin Lips | photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist
Thin Lips | photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist

After preparing some tasty frittatas in Drago’s kitchen, Kyle Pulley of Thin Lips joined Dan for an early morning convo for the 80th episode of 25 O’Clock.

The two begin their chat how all chats should start: by paying reverence to the gods that are the Beatles. This transitions into a bemoaning of the stupidly low appreciation for bass players, and the need for negative space in songs — all of which are stances I totally concur with. Continue reading →

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Carroll mixes the melancholic and the smooth in saxophone-filled track, “Velvet”

Carroll | photo by Noah Silvestry | courtesy of the artist
Carroll | photo by Noah Silvestry | courtesy of the artist

Minneapolis-turned-Philly dwellers Carroll caught our attention last year with their sparkly psych rock vibes in As Far as Sounds Go. Then, back in December, a Shaking Through session hinted at a more somber forthcoming musical route. Now, we’re seeing elements of this melancholic turn come to fruition in Carrol’s new track, “Velvet.”

This slowed-down song swims through hazy, lush textures tinged in gloominess. But at the same time, it’s smooth as heck. A sad kind of sauciness that’s aided by some amazing sax stylings. Continue reading →

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Hear Hoots & Hellmouth’s gloriously grand new EP, Uneasy Pieces

Hoots & Hellmouth | photo courtesy of artist

When local rootsy blues rockers Hoots & Hellmouth released their fourth album In The Trees Where I Can See The Forest last fall, it raised the bar quite high for the four-piece. Their new EP Uneasy Pieces, however, seems to have no problem exceeding those lofty expectations.

The chilling title track opens up the EP with an atmospheric spookiness that just sounds big. Sans the eerie vibes, the rest of the songs follow in the same grand nature as Hoots & Hellmouth are large and in charge of their trademark passionate, lively sound. Single “The Down Part of Town” and “Oh The Bugs” bring the folky organ-searing soul, while last tune, “Soft and Lazy” slows things down for a self-condemning bluesy-gospel mix. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Slaughter Beach, Dog

Seriously, how is it possible that Jake Ewald is this sick of a songwriter? The Philadelphia singer / guitarist and producer, known by many as half of Modern Baseball’s core songwriting duo, also leads a rotating-cast indie rock troupe called Slaughter Beach, Dog, and has done so for the past several years. Though the band is a considerably more lowkey experience than when he plays theater-size spaces to pop punk devotees, it’s no side joint either; Ewald’s attention to craft, both lyrical and compositional, is in top form here, and only continues to heighten as the project releases more music. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Listen to The War on Drugs high-octane album opener “Up All Night”

The War on Drugs | photo by Dustin Condren | courtesy of the artist
The War on Drugs | photo by Dustin Condren | courtesy of the artist

The countdown is on: ten days till Philadelphia space rock jammers The War on Drugs release their fourth long-player, A Deeper Understanding, via Atlantic Records. After several other teaser tracks over the past couple months, the album opener made its way out into the world today, and it is glorious. Continue reading →

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Watch Low Cut Connie’s weird and colorful video of Prince cover, “Controversy”

Low Cut Connie | courtesy of the artist
Low Cut Connie | courtesy of the artist

The frontman of Philly’s Low Cut Connie, Adam Weiner, is a massive Prince fan; so much so that the band included an amazing cover of “Controversy” on their latest album, Dirty Pictures, Pt. 1. 

When the track was first released back in May, the cover held the title of XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week, so we like it quite a bunch around here. More recently, Diffuser has premiered a colorfully weird video as the tune’s visual counterpart. Continue reading →

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Watch MH The Verb and Arthouse 95’s sci-fi visual for “Traffic,” see them at South Bowl

MH the Verb | via facebook.com/mhtheverbmusic

Rapper Marcus Harris, aka MH the Verb, relocated from Philly to the west coast earlier this year — but he returns east this spring, with a sci-fi tinged new project in tow.

Afronaut is LP made in collaboration with the electronic music ensemble Buscrates that, through sounds and visuals, will dissect the consumerism of 21st century American society through the eyes of a traveler from another time. Continue reading →

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Andre Altrez dabbles in atmospheric trap on new No Come Down project

Andre Altrez
Andre Altrez | photo by BlackMythPhoto | twitter.com/BlackMythPhoto | courtesy of the artist

After catching our ear with the mellowed-up, jazz-tinged Sprout EP, Philly rapper and producer André Altrez switches up gears for his latest, No Come Down — a gripping set of trap bangers that flaunts and flexes his skill. Altrez co-produced the EP, which is currently streaming on Bandcamp, in collaboration with Scrap, Butch Dawson and Ben Thomas. The tone is highly contemporary (notes of Migos and 21 Savage make their way to the surface) but Altrez takes the set in alluring and atmospheric directions, adding a psychedelic wash to the hazy dreamscape of “Mystic Thots” as well as the unflinching dose of reality that is “Consequences.” Continue reading →