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Sun Airway rolls out a third song from Heraldic Black Cherry, “Violent Grey”

Sun Airway | photo courtesy of the artist

It’s one of those contradictions of creativity: the intersection of desire and reality, the wanting to be the focus of attention without necessarily putting oneself out there. Philly’s Jon Barthmus has been through it a couple times, back in the aughties blogrock era with his spectacular pop band The A-Sides and more recently with the elegant electronic outfit Sun Airway, which had a couple great higher-profile moments on the Dead Oceans roster and then retreated to the shadows for a couple years.

In recent months, we’ve heard the first new music in four years from the project — its third LP, Heraldic Black Cherry, is on the way this winter / spring — and on the heels of “FOAM” and “All In,” today we’ve got the existential quandary of “Violent Grey.” Viewing that push-pull of the limelight from a different angle, Barthmus sings “I don’t want to be forgotten, I just want to be forgotten,” and if those are indeed two distinct wishes, perhaps his plan to keep Sun Airway a studio project is the best way to fulfill both. Continue reading →

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Listen to a long lost Pet Milk song, “Ostalgia,” see them at Everybody Hits on 1/28

Pet Milk
Pet Milk performs at Johnny Brenda’s in 2013 | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly indie-pop outfit Pet Milk hasn’t played a show together since 2013. Not out of any ill will or anything — they’re all still good friends — but more because everybody is busy in their own ways. Guitarist and singer Herb Shellenberger spent a couple years studying in London and has become a noted cinema scholar; singer Sarah Schimeneck now fronts Mercury Girls, and bassist Adam Herndon continues to play in A Sunny Day in Glasgow.

The band was in the midst of recording its full-length debut when it dissolved, and while I’m not 100% that the above photo (opening for Bleeding Rainbow at Johnny Brenda’s on Valentine’s Day of 2013) is its final show, it was certainly one of the last. A demo was dug up last year with allusions to a possible future, and it seems that future is upon us. Continue reading →

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GrandeMarshall returns with new Risk/Reward project; listen to “Stress”

GrandeMarshall | via facebook.com/ITSPULLUP

Philly rapper GrandeMarshall caught a sweet break a few years back by landing on the West Coast boutique label Fool’s Gold, and it’s been a great home for him in the time since — reissuing his 800 mixtape, releasing his acclaimed followup project My Brother’s Keeper and now rolling out the new Risk/Reward. The eight-track EP is due out January 23rd, and can be pre-ordered here; to get a taste, listen to lead single “Stress,” a lowtempo groove that bubbles up as the jam progresses over four and a half minutes, with Grande’s charged and confident delivery providing a counterpoint to the nervous instrumentation. The jam might be about learning to confront with obstacles in your day-to-day, and based on his poise, Grande has learned well. Continue reading →

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Bardo Pond announce new LP, stream lead single “Crossover”

bardo pond
Bardo Pond | photo by Michael Gibbons | courtesy of the artist

The few times Bardo Pond popped up around town over the last couple of years were often in support of an anniversary. They celebrated 30 years of Philadelphia Record Exchange and 10 years of Johnny Brenda’s, two places that both serve to buoy an ever-growing music scene that counts this band as a longtime stalwart. This time around though Bardo Pond is creeping back into focus to announce a new record. Under the Pines is set for release on March 24th and today we can hear the first single.

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Tash Sultana to release debut Notion EP on Mom + Pop, sells out U.S. tour

tash sultana
Tash Sultana | photo courtesy of the artist

If you caught this week’s New Music Show on XPN, you may have heard a track called “Jungle” from Australian artist Tash Sultana. It’s bright, layered, impossibly catchy and has skyrocketed the young multi-instrumentalist to viral status in her home country. Now the Melbourne native is breaking through here in the U.S., selling out all nine dates of an introductory tour (including a February 18th date at World Cafe Live) and announcing a stateside release of her debut EP Notion via Mom + Pop Records on February 17th. Watch Sultana perform “Jungle” in a live bedroom series below and stay tuned for updates.

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Lushlife releases Idols and Enemies mixtape to benefit the ACLU

Lushlife
Lushlife at Johnny Brenda’s 2/27/16 | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

Over the weekend, we told you about a cryptic video Lushlife posted on Facebook. Today we have details about what it all means.

The Philly rapper (known offstage as Raj Haldar) just released Idols and Enemies, an interdisciplinary mixtape featuring Killer Mile, Jedediah Prudy, Moor Mother, Sad13, Sut Jhally, Kool AD, Sun Airway, Khruangbin, Billy Woods and Little Strike. Philly musician and DJ (and Key Contributor) John Morrison executive produced the project, which is available as an $8 download, and it supports the ACLU.  Continue reading →

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Local acts Coping Skills, Tombo Crush and more support the Trevor Project on benefit Heart Hitter comp

trevor project
Coping Skills | photo by Julia Leiby | courtesy of the band

Heart Hitter: Vol 1 is a new compilation of cover songs organized by local artist JL Simonson and featuring a handful Philly bands in support of The Trevor Project, a national suicide prevention organization that offers crisis intervention, mental health education, and other critical services for young LGBTQ people. The comp is available on Bandcamp now, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the organization.

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