By

Leon Bridges shares unreleased tracks on new Coming Home deluxe LP

leon bridges
Leon Bridges | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Former XPN Artist to Watch Leon Bridges is probably a household name by now. After releasing his critically acclaimed debut Coming Home last year, the Texas soul singer played a killer set at Non-COMM, has sold out shows at Union Transfer and The Fillmore and just announced a slot at June’s Roots Picnic.

Continue reading →

By

Listen to Aphra’s introverted new single “Rooms”

aphra
Aphra | photo by Megan Matuzak | courtesy of the artist

The “About” section on Aphra’s Bandcamp page contains a deceptively complex message. “Moving beyond catharsis,” it reads.

This short phrase might be the unifying theme behind all of Aphra’s music. It doesn’t seek to simply express painful emotions. It actually seeks to heal.

“Rooms,” the second single from Aphra’s forthcoming EP Sadness Is a Gesture, fits this mold perfectly. The song is about vocalist Rebecca Way’s suffering following the end of a toxic relationship. “When people fall in love they tend to put each other on such a high pedestal at first (turning another into a Christ figure of sorts),” Way wrote to the Key. Continue reading →

By

Listen to a new split EP from Radiator Hospital and Great Thunder

Radiator Hospital | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Radiator Hospital | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Split EPs can often feel scatterbrained. They are, after all, recorded by two different bands. But on Wedding Album, a record put together by Great Thunder (featuring Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield and her touring band mate Keith Spencer) and Radiator Hospital, there is no such discontinuity.

The cohesiveness is rather unsurprising, given the amount of collaboration between the two bands. Released on Stupid Bag Records, the record’s first side is technically Great Thunder territory, but Crutchfield and Spencer actually cover two original Radiator Hospital tracks with “Sleeping House” and “Big Cloud.” The latter is one of the record’s highlights — Crutchfield and Spencer provide a shot of punk adrenaline into what was originally a light hearted, playful track. Featuring Waxahatchee’s quintessential driving guitars and Crutchfield’s layered unison vocals, “Big Cloud” would have been right at home on Ivy Tripp. Continue reading →

By

Hot damn, it’s a powerful new rocker from Philly’s Sheer Mag

Sheer Mag
Sheer Mag | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly punk powerhouse Sheer Mag is a reliable source of retro rock n’ roll riffs, fierce garage furor, live energy and instantly memorable hooks – and they’ve racked up all the attendant buzz that goes with that sort of combination. The band just dropped a blistering new song called “Can’t Stop Fighting” on its Soundcloud page, and it is fire. As with Sheer Mag’s best moments, this one makes the most of interplay between Tina Halladay’s unbridled vocal prowess and Kyle Seely acrobatic, Thin Lizzy-style guitar licks. Give it a listen below, and see Sheer Mag tear down Ortlieb’s tonight; tickets and more info at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

By

Listen to the new album from Church Girls, “Thousand Lives”

Church Girls | Photo by Charlie Wrzesniewski | courtesy of the artist
Church Girls | Photo by Charlie Wrzesniewski | courtesy of the artist

Way more than nine: Philly’s own Church Girls released their first record, Thousand Lives, last Friday.

The four piece indie-rock group, fronted by Mariel Beaumont, has been around the area for about two years now, previously releasing their self-titled EP in January of 2014. The album was recorded and produced at Miner Street Recordings. Continue reading →

By

The Key Studio Sessions: Chelsea Sue Allen

Chelsea Sue Allen is a leading light in the Philadelphia folk scene, but then again, she’s something more. The West Chester singer-songwriter crafts intensely emotional songs that transcend the coffeehouse world, much as she’s a favorite over at Burlap and Bean. On last year’s Lonely Ages, she detailed the tug-of-war between aspiration and self-doubt – “I’ve got daydreams pressing against siren walls / will I become something better if I let them out” – as well as the crash of colossal letdowns – “you’re not the one I’m bankin’ on anymore, anymore?” – and does so over a bed of pattering electronics (“Creaks and Moans,” “Bankin’ On”) and full band swiftness (“Tall Dreams”).

Live, the flourishes are brushed away – Allen goes minimal and meditative, and the songs remain every bit as powerful. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
By

Harrowgrove is down on his luck in a video for “All You Need Is Luck”

Harrowgrove | photo courtesy of the artist
Harrowgrove | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly electronic R&B artist Harrowgrove just released a new video for the song “All You Need Is Luck” from his most recent record, Holy Broken Free Spirit.

The video portrays Harrowgrove (C.J. Davis) and his journey from waking up in the middle of the woods to stealing a car at a nearby gas station. It creates a mess of confusion which eventually leads Davis down a dark path. Continue reading →

By

The Deadeyes release live version of “Delaware” before show at Fergie’s Saturday

the deadeyes
The Deadeyes | Photo by Derek Morton | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia punk rockers The Deadeyes have released a live version of their new song, “Delaware”, which was recorded at The Fire back in November.

The track was recorded by fellow Philadelphian Josh Pannepacker of Cheerleader (aka Shorty Boy Boy(. The band, consisting of Patrick McHugh (guitar, vocals), David McMullin (drums), and John Coursey (violin), channels Jonathan Richman’s carefree attitude throughout the song before breaking into some classic Pixies-style noise brought to you by the band’s unique instrument, the violin. The Deadeyes’ Demonstrationals and Remixes was released last year. Continue reading →

By

Weird out to the latest from experimental Philly outfit Banned Books

Banned Books | Photo courtesy of the artist
Banned Books | Photo courtesy of the artist

In three short minutes, “Fuselage,” the new release from Philly experimental three-piece Banned Books, undergoes an impressive number of mutations. Beginning with nine crushing chords, the track kicks off with an oppressive feeling of angst.

It lasts about ten seconds.

A brief moment of silence ensues, and we’re suddenly given a taste of a delicate, shimmering guitar riff. Just as quickly, the track morphs yet again, this time adding a grimy layer of bass underneath the melody. It’s an appropriate opening for a song that is bound to keep you off balance in the best way possible. Continue reading →

By

Listen to Lushlife team up with Ariel Pink for “Hong Kong (Lady of Love)”

Lushlife | photo by Erbu Ylidiz | courtesy of the artist
Lushlife | photo by Erbu Ylidiz | courtesy of the artist

Philly rapper Lushlife found himself an unexpected collaborator for his new track, “Hong Kong (Lady of Love):” Ariel Pink.

On the surface, the duo are an unlikely couple. Mixing hip-hop with Pink’s brand of weirdo psychedelic rock seems anything but intuitive. But upon listening to the track, the collaboration instantly makes sense. Continue reading →