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HOUND packs two new tracks with a punky urgency and devilish heaviness

HOUND | photo by Dawn Riddle | courtesy of the artist
HOUND | photo by Dawn Riddle | courtesy of the artist

Philly hard rockers HOUND are gearing up for a release of their new album BORN UNDER 76, and with the weather at last conjuring its charged, ominous atmosphere of spookiness, there’s no better time for some new HOUND tracks; the entire record is streaming now over at Allmusic, but we’d like to highlight its two new singles to jam to. Continue reading →

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Screaming Females’ seventh LP All At Once comes out in February; watch the “Glass House” video

Screaming Females | photo by Farrah Skeiky | courtesy of artist
Screaming Females | photo by Farrah Skeiky | courtesy of artist

After releasing their head-banger single, “Black Moon,” a few weeks ago, Jersey rockers Screaming Females are back; this time with a video for their new track, “Glass House,” as introduction to their upcoming album All At Once — out on February 28th via Don Giovanni Records.

As Screaming Females have been kicking for more than ten years, they’ve had time to explore their capacity as musicians — and in their new track, “Glass House,” they’re trying something new: patient simplicity. With expert calculation and sparse arrangements, the “Glass House” is able to carve out a sound striking and severe. Continue reading →

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Watch Eight’s new video for “839,” catch them at the church this Friday

Eight | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist
Eight | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist

Since the release of their debut EP EIGHT almost two years ago, Philly power trio Eight have been lying pretty low. They’ll pop up at shows around town every now and then, and joined us for a Key Studio Session earlier this year. Now the band — whose supergroup lineup includes Mimi Gallagher (Year of Glad), Cat Park (Amanda X) and Pat Brier (Queen Jesus, Three Man Cannon) — are back with a spirited video for “839” and news of 7″ to be released on Dead Broke Rekerds. Continue reading →

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Lost In The Neighborhood: Rediscovering the millennium-era rock of Philly’s Ruby Keeler

Ruby Keeler | photo by Eric Wareheim | via rubykeeler.bandcamp.com

At the dawn of the millennium, it was clear that mainstream rock was in a state of crisis. Southern-flavored hip hop had emerged as a cultural movement while Lou Pearlman-constructed boy bands like N’SYNC & Backstreet Boys ruled the charts with an iron fist and frosted tips. The few guitar bands making waves on radio were of the post-grunge variety and the less we say about that regrettable stylistic aberration known as rap rock, the better. To put it simply, if a guitar band blew up and achieved any degree of success during this period, they probably sucked. On the underground side of the coin, things were a bit more complicated. Many bands in smaller markets throughout the country were still traveling out from the comfort of their local scenes, touring around the country and wrestling with the musical innovations and cultural shifts that were laid out in the wake of the 90s Grunge and Indie Rock explosion.

Philly based quartet Ruby Keeler was one such band. Continue reading →

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Sorority Noise release Alone 7″ ahead of TLA appearance

Sorority Noise | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

Sorority Noise have more perfect timing than we could’ve asked for. Just as we were gearing up for their show at the TLA on the 27th, the emo/punk scene faves announced a new two-track 7″, Alone, out now on Triple Crown Records. Their tour with Citizen and Great Grandpa kicks off next week, and the new tunes are perfect for helping fill in that waiting period. Continue reading →

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Telepathic announces new record Self Checkout, shares a few tracks early

Telepathic | Photo via telepathic.bandcamp.com

Lo-fi punk outfit Telepathic are back with the announcement of their latest — 19-track album Self Checkout out Nov. 2 on Third Uncle Records. An ambitious task, the whole album clocks in at under 35 minutes — Telepathic’s energetic songs tend to be short and sweet, and the new album is evidently no exception. Five of the new tracks are available on the label’s Bandcamp right now, and you can pre-order the album there too. Continue reading →

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Weller’s “Point of Personal Privilege” bursts at the seams with contagious optimism

Weller | photo by Emily Dubin | via artist’s Facebook page

With their self-titled album just weeks away from release, Philly scene staples Weller have given us another sneak peek at the upcoming record by ways of their new infectiously optimistic track, “Point of Personal Privilege.”

After Weller warmly welcomes us to the song through a sweet guitar melody introduction, they quickly preview a taste of the track’s upcoming celebration with a jolt of pure, uplifting energy. But just as quickly, the ray of light vanishes — replaced with steady drums; somber, meditative vocals, and some uberly important negative space relief points.

Continuing in this oscillating sonic pattern, a backing choir of literal heavenly angels then submerges the song in a glowing, golden sheen before the track explodes into an exuberant troubadour joyfulness reminiscent of The Oh Hello’s. Continue reading →

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Now Hear This: New Songs from Cold Specks, Moses Sumney, Cults, Susanne Sundfør, Laura Baird, Eamon and Mavis Staples

Moses Sumney | photo via facebook.com/mosessumney

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

October is the coolest month – musically speaking.  There are more (and, pound for pound, bigger) new releases flying around these days than any other time of year.  It’s dizzying.  And correspondingly, of course, there are also many many artists touring through town, now and in the coming weeks.  It’s left me with little choice but to offer an, umm, especially generous baker’s dozen by way of my monthly recap below.  So come feast your ears! 

Among other things, last month saw a considerable number of comebacks, of varying magnitudes – returns to action, artistic reinvigorations, etc – from artists all across the spectrum.  I’ve highlighted a good number of them below, along with a smaller, select handful of shining newcomer – most of whom turn out to be not entirely that new, after all.

The biggest (unintentional) theme for this month, a through-line linking all of these widely ranging selections, is the power of the voice.  The playlist below features a striking array of voices – extraordinary voices and commonplace voices, singly or in multiple, highly processed or unadorned.  And whether or not I call attention to to it in my write-up, each and every cut here offers something memorable in terms of its vocal dimension; a certain quality of the voice (or voices) at hand, or of the way that voice are used.  Let it be a reminder for us all, to keep on using our voices. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Zeek Burse

We first met charismatic Philly crooner Zeek Burse a couple years back when he lent his vocal talents to a Key Studio Session by transglobal house music outfit Worldtown Soundsystem. That crew, as we observed at the time, very much operates like a family, and Burse carries the same spirit over to his own ensemble — a seven-piece rock band that brings a bounty of energy to its monthly engagements at South Philly rhythm and blues institution Warmdaddy’s, as well as to Zeek’s 2017 record XXII…and this week’s Key Studio Session.

Burse is a engaging performer, a dynamic singer and a gifted interpreter of songs; a recent gig saw him tackling songs by Prince (his self-professed number-one influence), Gnarls Barley and Imagine Dragons. Those Warmdaddy’s shows mix in a fair amount of covers, but his own material is impeccably strong. XXII is funky and fun, filled with hooks, grooves, and unexpected sonic turns — there’s room to dance and room to meditate.

Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head