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Dylan Jane shares electrified video for “What It Seems” off of new EP

dylan jane
Dylan Jane | photo courtesy of the artist

Our first taste of Dylan Jane‘s latest EP was “What It Seems,” a track we premiered for the Bloomsburg, PA native back in the beginning of October. Two months later Deceiving Yourself and Everyone Else has been released and Dylan, who expanded her acoustic folk sound to encompass a more dynamic range of feelings on the record, has a new video for the single.

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The Districts support Standing Rock with two new demos

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | <a href="http://jeremy-zim.com" target="_blank">jeremy-zim.com</a>
The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Fresh off a weekend of sold-out Johnny Brenda’s shows, Philly rockers The Districts have seen fit to share an even fresher pair of demos in support of the Standing Rock Medic and Healing Council. They’re available now via their Bandcamp page, so if you’ve been dying for some new Districts tunes and want to support an urgent cause, now’s your chance. Continue reading →

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Eric Slick tells us how Dr. Dog’s surprise charity album Abandoned Mansion came to be

Dr. Dog | photo via drdog4.bandcamp.com

Surprise! There’s a new Dr. Dog album out today that no one knew existed (except the band and I’m guessing some of their friends). To sweeten the deal even more, all proceeds from the album go toward the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The album, called Abandoned Mansion, is what the band described in an introductory missive as “Easy Peasy listening.” That’s to say that, as opposed to the “blips and bloops” of the band’s February release, The Psychedelic Swamp, Abandoned Mansion takes a more simplistic, traditional approach.

Drummer Eric Slick, who doubles as one-third of Philly’s Lithuania, said that the band actually recorded Abandoned Mansion before The Psychedelic Swamp, but had to let it sit on the backburner for a bit.

“We recorded it before we went into the studio to record The Psychedelic Swamp with the intention of getting it out before The Psychedelic Swamp,” he says.

In contrast to Swamp’s complex layering and production ambition, Abandoned Mansion is pretty much just the band playing live with mostly acoustic instruments.

“The intent of the record was to make something simple and elegant,” Slick says. “I think we’ve kind of gone into different trends in the band. We’ve moved toward this more psychedelic, noisier side—an experimental side—and then we’ve got this simpler side. So it’s just another exploration of our simpler side.” Continue reading →

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Bilal strikes a synth-soul pose with new video for “Pleasure Toy”

bilal
Bilal | Photo by Kawai Matthews

Philadelphia native Bilal is back with a video for “Pleasure Toy,” a track taken from last year’s In Another Life LP that teams up the soul singer with rapper Big K.R.I.T. The clip follows up a trio of songs Bilal recorded with Common for the latter’s upcoming album that tackled mass incarceration, the existence of God, and the Civil Rights movement.

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Listen to Tinmouth’s modern take on the ’80s underground with new A Letter From Home EP

Tinmouth | photo courtesy of the artist
Tinmouth | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly alt-rock trio Tinmouth just dropped a two-song EP in anticipation of their ten-day tour starting on December 2nd. The EP, A Letter From Home, is a modern take on all of your favorite ’80s underground music a la Yo La Tengo and R.E.M. This release precedes an planned 2017 full-length record. Continue reading →

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Listen to Chris Kasper perform on NPR’s Mountain Stage

Chris Kasper | photo via chriskasper.bandcamp.com

Roots singer-songwriter Chris Kasper is often thought of as a leading light of the Philadelphia folk scene, but a little known fact about the guy: he spent his musical formative years in Morgantown, West Virginia, studying at WVU. That’s where he first made the acquaintance of Mountain Stage host Larry Groce — who recently welcomed Kasper for his first appearance on the nationally-syndicated NPR program (which airs on WXPN Sunday afternoons).

Recorded on October 16 at The Clay Center in Charleston, on a lineup also featuring Foy Vance, Amanda Shires, Oh Pep! and Carsie Blanton, Kasper’s four-song set was performed with with Kiley Ryan on fiddle and backup vocals, and showcases what Groce praises as Kasper’s versatility in folk, pop and blues.  Continue reading →

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Listen to The Great Fallback, the latest project from beatmaker Rolled Gold and Uncle Crimson

nite owls
Rolled Gold | Photo courtesy of the artist

Back in February, emerging Philly producer Rolled Gold caught my ear with the Salty EP, a digable collection of RZA-sharp beats and collabs with local MCs from The Bul Bey to Ai-Que. One of the spitters on the set was a fellow by the name of Uncle Crimson, and he teamed up with Rolled again for a full-length project called The Great Fallback. The set – pretty much recorded over the span of a single Saturday afternoon – is smooth, soulful and jazzy, and Rolled tells us the two looked to MF Doom, Ghostface and Earl Sweatshirt for inspiration. Give it a listen below, and keep on the lookout for information about live shows in support of it — Rolled says they’re looking to fuse their music with a bit of visual art and even comedy for a multifaceted performance firing on all cylinders.  Continue reading →

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Taylor Dunn re-emerges as Tay Hiver, releases debut single

Tay Hiver | photo courtesy of the artist
Tay Hiver | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly rapper Tay Hiver might seem new to the scene, but he’s been at it for a few years now, first emerging back when he was a student at La Salle and rapped under his for-real name, Taylor Dunn. Those cuts were sweet, and as I said back when he recorded a Key Studio Session, it reminded me at points of a young Jay Z.

Adopting a stage name for his latest, Tay Hiver dabbles in some Yeezus style aggression — gritty, grinding, experimental beats, deep bass, heavily referential lyrics and a lot of fury. “Gold chain Mother Mary / word to my mama, shit is gettin’ scary.” Continue reading →

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Listen to Hemming cover Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”

Hemming | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Hemming | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

So this is a total treat: last weekend when Stevie Nicks was in town, Candice Martello of local indie rock project Hemming caught the show, and was inspired. She cooked up this lush, layered and aching rendition of the Fleetwood Mac song “Dreams” in her home studio as a tribute to one of her favorite songwriters. “She told me to follow my dreams and so I covered the song ‘Dreams’,” Martello wrote on Facebook, noting that it was recorded in her basement in South Philly “because it’s too cold to be anywhere else.” Give a listen below and enjoy. Continue reading →