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And now, music to score the solar eclipse care of Lushlife, Mary Lattimore and Botany

Lushlife
Lushlife | Photo by Ebru Yildiz ebruyildiz.net | courtesy of the artist

Today, for the first time in nearly four decades, the moon will cross the path of the sun in the skies above North America — and finding the right soundtrack for the total solar eclipse has become something of a cottage industry in the past week.

Playlists were crafted — check out WXPN’s here — viewing parties were planned, and in the case of Philadelphia’s Raj Haldar, a score was written. Continue reading →

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Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties are going on their first full band tour

Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties | photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

The Wonder Years frontman Dan Campbell is becoming more and more known for his side project, Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties, which just announced their first full tour following last year’s Bittersweet EP. This is a pretty big deal for Campbell. He’s played songs as the persona Aaron West at a few festivals, like Vans Warped Tour’s acoustic stage, but this is the first time we’ll get to hear his work they way he initially intended – full frame, full band, full story. This fall, he’ll be joined by Dryjacket, Shortly, Allison Weiss, and Norwegian Arms. The tour kicks off in New York on November 3rd and then heads West, then loops back home to end on December 2nd in Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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Julien Baker’s new “Appointments” is a heartbreaker in the best way

Julien Baker | photo by Nolan Knight | courtesy of the artist

If you’re in need of an emotion-filled song to listen to this weekend, Julien Baker has got you covered. The Tennessee songwriter has been a favorite of folk and indie crowds alike for quite some time now, and just announced her upcoming sophomore album Turn Out The Lights, due out October 27 on Matador Records. The first single, “Appointments,” is a bit of a heartbreaker, but that doesn’t make us any less excited to hear the rest of this highly anticipated record. And Philly, we’re in luck – Baker’s extensive fall tour hits Union Transfer on October 29, with support from the always-excellent Half Waif. Tickets are on sale now, and it’s sure to be a show you won’t want to miss. Continue reading →

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Watch Harmony Woods perform “Negro Y Azul” at Bad Dad Productions; see her open at the Church this fall

Harmony Woods performs “Negro Y Azul” | Bad Dad Music | still from video

Sophia Verbilla’s Harmony Woods recently stopped by Bad Dad Music Productions and performed one of my favorites from her insane debut album Nothing Special. You can catch that below.

Titled “Negro Y Azul,” this track is loud and quiet and charged and soothing. Add in the narrative storytelling-type lyrics, and that crazy catchy guitar hook, and there’s a whole lot of feelings to go around. Continue reading →

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Listen to Kyle Pulley of Thin Lips talk Beatles, bass, and producing Philly’s coolest tracks with Dan Drago on 25 O’Clock

Thin Lips | photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist
Thin Lips | photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist

After preparing some tasty frittatas in Drago’s kitchen, Kyle Pulley of Thin Lips joined Dan for an early morning convo for the 80th episode of 25 O’Clock.

The two begin their chat how all chats should start: by paying reverence to the gods that are the Beatles. This transitions into a bemoaning of the stupidly low appreciation for bass players, and the need for negative space in songs — all of which are stances I totally concur with. Continue reading →

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Carroll mixes the melancholic and the smooth in saxophone-filled track, “Velvet”

Carroll | photo by Noah Silvestry | courtesy of the artist
Carroll | photo by Noah Silvestry | courtesy of the artist

Minneapolis-turned-Philly dwellers Carroll caught our attention last year with their sparkly psych rock vibes in As Far as Sounds Go. Then, back in December, a Shaking Through session hinted at a more somber forthcoming musical route. Now, we’re seeing elements of this melancholic turn come to fruition in Carrol’s new track, “Velvet.”

This slowed-down song swims through hazy, lush textures tinged in gloominess. But at the same time, it’s smooth as heck. A sad kind of sauciness that’s aided by some amazing sax stylings. Continue reading →

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Hear Hoots & Hellmouth’s gloriously grand new EP, Uneasy Pieces

Hoots & Hellmouth | photo courtesy of artist

When local rootsy blues rockers Hoots & Hellmouth released their fourth album In The Trees Where I Can See The Forest last fall, it raised the bar quite high for the four-piece. Their new EP Uneasy Pieces, however, seems to have no problem exceeding those lofty expectations.

The chilling title track opens up the EP with an atmospheric spookiness that just sounds big. Sans the eerie vibes, the rest of the songs follow in the same grand nature as Hoots & Hellmouth are large and in charge of their trademark passionate, lively sound. Single “The Down Part of Town” and “Oh The Bugs” bring the folky organ-searing soul, while last tune, “Soft and Lazy” slows things down for a self-condemning bluesy-gospel mix. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Slaughter Beach, Dog

Seriously, how is it possible that Jake Ewald is this sick of a songwriter? The Philadelphia singer / guitarist and producer, known by many as half of Modern Baseball’s core songwriting duo, also leads a rotating-cast indie rock troupe called Slaughter Beach, Dog, and has done so for the past several years. Though the band is a considerably more lowkey experience than when he plays theater-size spaces to pop punk devotees, it’s no side joint either; Ewald’s attention to craft, both lyrical and compositional, is in top form here, and only continues to heighten as the project releases more music. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Listen to The War on Drugs high-octane album opener “Up All Night”

The War on Drugs | photo by Dustin Condren | courtesy of the artist
The War on Drugs | photo by Dustin Condren | courtesy of the artist

The countdown is on: ten days till Philadelphia space rock jammers The War on Drugs release their fourth long-player, A Deeper Understanding, via Atlantic Records. After several other teaser tracks over the past couple months, the album opener made its way out into the world today, and it is glorious. Continue reading →