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Restorations brings a wiser perspective to LP5000, now streaming at NPR First Listen

Restorations

Restorations | photo by Emily Dubin | courtesy of the artist

Philly indie five-piece Restorations conceived their latest album LP5000 during a period of turmoil and transition. In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, and facing setbacks within the independent realm of the music industry, the band took a mental health break. Each member pursued their own projects or made strives in their personal lives: for Jon Loudon, the giant leap was marriage, for Dave Klyman it was heading to grad school, and for Ben Pierce it was opening his own vegan restaurant in South Philly, The Tasty. After switching record labels and taking time to get it together, the band returned for this piece of work — which is streaming a week ahead of its release date over at NPR Music. Full of reflective songwriting and pensive lyrics, LP5000 portrays a slightly wiser perspective and heightened awareness of the world. Continue reading →

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Prince probably never wanted us to hear Piano & A Microphone 1983

Prince’s Piano and a Microphone 1983

Prince‘s death is potentially the greatest moneymaker his estate could ever ask for. With the notoriously picky and reserved artist no longer at the reins, they are not only free make his music more widely accessible — finally making much of his discography available on streaming services last year — but they’re also free to dig into his legendary Paisley Park vault. With today’s release of the first posthumous Prince album, the rest of us stay caught between the allure of more classic Prince and the certainty that we’re experiencing his art in a way he never would have wanted. Continue reading →

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Listen to Cave People get vulnerable on a bare-boned EP

Cave People | photo courtesy of the artist

Local PA indie rock outfit Cave People just dropped their new EP Salt, recorded by Joe Michelini (of American Trappist) at Berlin Studios. The band announced that all the proceeds collected will help fund Juntos, a Philly-based organization that is fighting for immigrant rights.

“Are You Looking,” is a bare-boned acoustic track that carves out space within itself. Frontman Dave Tomaine’s voice shakes with vulnerability as he echoes the self-conscious titular question. Chiming keyboard notes leave faintly treading footsteps behind a delicate web of fretwork. “Lather” demonstrates a similarly impressive layering of guitar and piano, creating a cinematic taxi-cab-pulling-away-after-dramatic-goodbye vibe. Here is Cave People shrinking, Cave People at their smallest.  Continue reading →

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Full Bush’s self-titled LP takes aim at the patriarchy with shocking directness

Full Bush | via facebook.com/FullBushBand

On their self titled debut LP, Full Bush reveal themselves as the rare kind of band that defies any expectation. Their songs unfold like stories from the wittiest person you know, so spontaneous they feel improvised but so seamlessly constructed you’d think they were rehearsed for years. And like a great story, once you hear the beginning, you can’t stop listening until you hear the payoff. Continue reading →

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Listen to Gene Wildest’s genre bending stoner opus Spectral Terrestrial

Gene Wildest | photo via genewildest.com

It’s not easy to write an introduction for Gene Wildest. The Philadelphia rockers can channel the whole of guitar-rock history in the span of a song, mixing genres as freely as spices. On their new LP, Spectral Terrestrial, GW draw from doom metal, space rock, shoegaze, math rock, and more to sustain an absorbing spaced-out atmosphere. Continue reading →

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Nick Cianci’s High Fidelity Depressed is anything but a downer

Nick Cianci
Nick Cianci | photo by C.J. Moy | photo courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia-rooted singer-songwriter Nick Cianci‘s debut EP High Fidelity Depressed is a high-energy take on themes of angst and loneliness. With beautifully intricate guitar melodies and clear, eager vocals, the recent NYU grad via the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music has proven that he’s clearly not new to the game. His sound is incredibly mature and perfected, even though he’s a solo artist. Not only is he a gifted musician and songwriter, but he also understands the technicalities of production. That’s his edge right there. Continue reading →

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Rosali’s new album Trouble Anyway finds inner strength amid dreaminess and despair

Rosali | photo via facebook.com/rosalimusic

According to her label Spinster Sounds, Rosali wrote the songs on her new album “as a way to seek empowerment,” and to allow herself to speak openly and honestly on themes ranging from love to anger, from power to loneliness. The solo project of Philadelphia-based artist Rosali Middleman, also of Long Hots and Wandering Shade, Rosali’s second solo album Trouble Anyway, out now, weaves together a spectrum of emotions and experiences with her singular folk rock sound. Continue reading →

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Bike Crash have a Surprise! for you

Bike Crash | via bikecrash.bandcamp.com

In the endless revivals of 70’s art rock, it’s often forgotten that amidst the subversion, provocation, and politics, the music was also actually fun. But West Philly rock trio Bike Crash—whose bandcamp bio accurately places them in the lineage of “Devo, dashes of early Deerhoof, Sleater Kinney, B-52’s and more”—have avoided the pitfalls of artsy over-affectation to deliver an exhilarating new EP, Surprise!, that supplants the lightning-in-a-bottle energy of their influences into a picaresque journey through modern Philadelphia. Continue reading →