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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 →

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New band Exmaid shares “Devoted” from forthcoming album Fair Sex

Exmaid | photo courtesy of the artist

You may be familiar with Philly post-punk staples Psychic Teens and their signature brooding and atmospheric sound. If so, you may recognize some of the members of the new band Exmaid — but their sound may surprise you. Gone are the deep and haunting vocals and dark and stormy, fuzzed-out melodies — “Devoted,” the first single from Exmaid’s forthcoming LP, is positively sunny.

That’s all thanks to the influence of songwriter and vocalist Miranda Taylor (formerly of New Jersey bands Hunchback, Black Wine, and Full of Fancy). Taylor approached Psychic Teens with a batch of songs she’d written, looking for inspiration to help make her vision a reality. The result is Exmaid, and their debut album Fair Sex will be released April 6 via Don Giovanni and SRA Records. Continue reading →

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David Byrne shares American Utopia track “This Is That”

David Byrne | photo by Jody Rogac | courtesy of the artist
David Byrne | photo by Jody Rogac | courtesy of the artist

Listening to music from this year’s upcoming XPN Fest headliners is one of the best ways to beat the winter blues on a dreary February day — especially when that headliner is David Byrne and he’s just released a new song. Byrne’s forthcoming album American Utopia is due out March 9, and the iconic artist has just shared a second single, “This Is That.” Continue reading →

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As Creepoid prepares for its final bow, Lovelorn debuts with “Chains”

Philly’s Creepoid is playing their farewell show this Saturday the 17th at Union Transfer, but three-fourths of of the band are continuing on under the name Lovelorn, and they’ve just released their first single “Chains”.

With bassist Anna Troxell at the front, the song is sleepy and atmospheric with hazy, distorted guitar, steady drums and bass, and far away, airy vocals. One thing that especially caught my interest was the way the guitar interacts with the vocals, at times functioning the same as backup vocals would. The lyrics are interesting and imaginative with lines like “So take me away to my next big mistake / down through the gutter and out the gate.” Continue reading →

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Kilamanzego just dropped a strange and magical new single

Kilamanzego | photo courtesy of the artist
Kilamanzego | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly experimental electronic artist Kilamanzego just dropped a new single “picking my kalimba from a distance.” First of all, I love this; this song is a weird, magic, dope blend of alluring synths, minimal percussion, electronic noises, and bass that you feel as much as you hear. The song takes you on a ride as it progresses, adding and subtracting layers before a graceful fadeout. Soundcloud user Love Junior encapsulated my thoughts on the song with the comment “You a weird and talented mf. Love this.” Continue reading →

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Hour finds instrumental solace from the noisy streets of Philly on their new LP Tiny Houses

Hour
Hour | photo by Bob Sweeney | courtesy of the artist

Local instrumental supergroup Hour packs a lot into their quiet, delicate sounds. The group’s latest release, Tiny Houses, is out now, and showcases Hour at their finest, their skilled instrumentalists stepping away from their various other projects to pour their talent into a collective sound. Continue reading →

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Saxophonist Steve Davit fuses Electro swing and Trap in latest single “Philly Sophia”

Steve Davit | Courtesy of the artist

Saxophonist Steve Davit of Marian Hill has released his latest single, “Philly Sophia,” just the third track in his solo catalogue. Absent of lyrics, Davit is still able to depict a story here. “The title is a play on words with the Greek origins of Philosophy – Philo Sophia, which means “Lover of Wisdom”. But it could also be about a girl named Sophia who’s from Philly,” describes Davit. One great double entendre, we’ll leave this one up to your own interpretation. Continue reading →

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Philly son Eric Jamal puts in work from the west coast

Eric Jamal | photo courtesy of artist

2018 is looking very bright for the City of Brotherly Love not just because Philadelphia’s green and white Eagles are now Super Bowl champions, but there seems to be an abundance of good music coming out the Philadelphia region. Music artist such as Shawn Smith, Dayne Jordan, Beano, Tierra Whack, Sunnie, Ivy Sole, James Weldon, No Headliner, Doug C Jr and plenty more continue to provide the tri-state area with incredible dope music. Hip hop artist Eric Jamal is working extremely hard all the way from California to also put on for his city with his new video “Work Harder.” Continue reading →