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Explore a summer carnival with Little Strike in “Come Out Alright”

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Little Strike | photo courtesy of the artist

The moments of inspiration behind Little Strike‘s art are usually global – time spent in Israel, a sojourn in Ecuador, or friendships made in China. But to film a new video for this year’s “Come Out Alright” single, Philly-based musician Tamar Dart traveled just 35 miles to Hammonton, NJ to capture the experience of the town’s annual summer carnival.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Bel Heir

It may be the first day of autumn, but Philly modern rock four-piece Bel Heir are firm subscribers to Brian Wilson’s “endless summer” school of thought. In other words, today’s Key Studio Session does not shy away from sunny vocal hooks, energized riffs and rhythms and breezy hints of reggae, and it’s all the awesomer for it.

The regional band first caught our ear in 2013 when brothers Paul and Patrick Mencel began dabbling in a new studio recordings after the dissolve of their previous band Find Vienna. Where that crew aimed for Kings of Leon-style arena rock stratospheres, Bel Heir takes a more contemplative and laid-back route — “beachy,” as the kids like to say, and very much in step with the globally-informed electronic pop tones of Vacationer and Vampire Weekend. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Key Studio Sessions: Voss

Philly rapper Voss has been rocking a pretty funny hashtag of late: #notthewater. While it’s handy as far as name recognition that he’s got a popular aqueous doppelgänger — no sponsorship to speak of yet, though — he’d be making waves even if his last name and stage name were, like, Smith.

Which is to say: Voss is a confident and cunning MC who raps over a choice selection of beats from producers Rob Devious, Ron Swerdon, Architekt & Fearmongerz. Earlier this year, he dropped his debut album Insatiable, and its tone ranges from menacing club bangers matched with bold lyrical swagger (“CSN”) to soulful slow jams (“Respect My Mind”) and pop euphoria (“Oasis,” a flip of the brit rock icons’ “Champagne Supernova”).

His focus as an MC is bold declarations of personal ambition as well as intellectual and spiritual reflections — the closing song he performed during his Key Studio Session, “Found,” pairs him up with vocalist the means on the hook for a study of faith and religion, dissecting its role in modern life. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Folkadelphia Session: Town Mountain


Town Mountain, the self-described “hard-drivin’ Carolina string band,” is a group after our own heart. On their fifth album Southern Crescent released this April, Town Mountain plows through 12 excellent songs of rough and raw bluegrass, play-like-the-devil fiddling, and top-notch picking. Without much studio magic, the band recorded Southern Crescent relying on their superb live performance style. It is in that mode that the band arrived in Philadelphia and recorded this no nonsense in-studio session.
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Queen of Jeans are the rulers of retro pop: check out their cover of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams”

Queen of Jeans | courtesy of the artist | photo by Bob Sweeney
Queen of Jeans | courtesy of the artist | photo by Bob Sweeney

XPN Fest veterans Queen of Jeans just released a killer cover of the late American rock n’ roll artist Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams.” The track, which is featured on and all female compilation album released by Swell Tone & Z Tapes entitled Summer Of Sad, was recorded at Philly’s Sleepless Sound Studios as reported by Tour friends at The Deli Philly. Continue reading →

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Yo La Tengo continue murdering the classics on Murder in the Second Degree

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Since 1996, indie-rock heavyweights Yo La Tengo have been performing listener-requested covers during WFMU’s annual fundraising Marathon. The catch is, the band has no idea what these covers are going to be, and they have no time to prepare, so they have no choice but to rely on memory and their (considerable) talent to get them through. This has produced mixed, often side-splitting results, and in 2006, the “Best of the Worst” was immortalized in Yo La Tengo is Murdering the Classics. Ten years later, the band has announced that album’s followup, the aptly-titled Murder in the Second Degree. Continue reading →

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Listen to two vibey new songs from Matt Magarahan

Matt Magarahan
Matt Magarahan | photo courtesy of the artist

When we first heard from Chester County’s Matt Magarahan it was with 2014’s trio of recordings on Songs To Forget, Vol. 1. Magarahan showed his knack for eclectic songwriting across the EP, moving from quietly acoustic to lushly electronic. He keeps that diversity alive on his two latest singles as well, “Pen and Paper” and “We Might Not Always Feel In Love.”

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Listen to a new song from Honus Honus called “Oh No!”

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Honus Honus | portrait by Mustafa Shaheen | courtesy of the artist

With his debut solo LP set for release next month, Honus Honus has shared a new track called “Oh No!” via Consequence of Sound. Also known as the frontman for Philly-based Man Man (and in some circles, Ryan Kattner), Honus keeps the colorfully weird musical sensibilities we love about his band alive on Use Your Delusion.

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Meet The Mellowells, check out their new single “Tiny Beds”

The Mellowells | photo via themellowells.bandcamp.com

Annville, PA outfit The Mellowells have shared a second single from their forthcoming effort Head Space, following up last month’s “Melting Vibes” with “Tiny Beds.” The band will release their sophomore effort on September 30th before playing a Halloween show at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster on October 29th.

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