Jersey punk rockers Aspiga are set to release a split 7” on Say-10 with the group Among Giants this July. Today, we bring you a taste of the record with Aspiga’s hard-hitting punk-rock anthem, “Direction.” Drums pound away, paired with a low marching bass and heavy guitar as frontman Kevin Day sings of love on the road. Keeping it loud and powerful non-stop during this fast paced song, Aspiga really create a feeling of anxious restlessness for this single. Check it out below and catch the group at Wah Manor in Philly on June 15th. You can also Preorder the 7” here.
Best New Music
A week or so ago, Mumblr dropped their new four song EP Nutter. For those who love fuzzed out guitar riffs sprinkled with nasty bass tones, thriving drums, and a Weezer-esque vibe will enjoy this release. (DISCLOSURE: The Key’s intern Kyle Rossi plays in Mumblr, but we’d like them regardless. -ed.) With four songs, and the longest song being roughly two minutes and thirty seconds, they pack a significant amount of depth into this EP. Not to mention the rock. Oh, boy, the rock.
Mumblr started out as a cooler, punkier version of Modest Mouse when they released their first EPs Rectangle and Rectangle Pt. 2, which were re-recorded and condensed into their White Jesus EP. Then they took a small turn toward the more emotional side when they released their split with Dark Orange Oriole Carving. Now, with Nutter, Mumblr fully embraced the fuzz punk. Each song is visceral, driving, and plain fun. They still bring the jams with this release, and embody the high energy, as well as musicianship, they have had on each release. But Nutter is faster and more raw than any of their previous releases. And it fits them completely. The four songs on this EP fully captures the energy they bring to their live set. From the first song to the last song, Nutter wraps ears inside several layers of heavy sounds and a static, but full atmosphere of sound.
Give Mumblr’s new EP Nutter a listen. Then give the rest of their material a listen. Then learn the words. Then go see them play. They are a great time. Below, check out their song “Space God” off of Nutter.
Liz and the Lost Boys is a Philly-based act I was happy to make the acquaintance of this week after their slot opening for William Tyler at Ortlieb’s Lounge on Sunday. The project of Philly songwriter Liz Ciavolino has been around since 2009 dabbling in various breezy, exploratory sounds led by ethereal harp, folksy guitar and jazzy keys and vocals. Their debut EP All My Charm and Grace was a breathtaker, and since its late 2011 release, the project has expanded into a four-piece band configuration. It just wrapped up recording a full-length record with Arc in Round’s Jeff Zeigler at Uniform Recording, and will play its album release at MilkBoy on June 14th. (It also just recorded a Key Studio Session, which you’ll hear in a couple weeks.) Today, the band released the first single from the album called “Escape.” The wandering, whimsical song can be streamed below, or downloaded for free at Liz and the Lost Boys’ Bandcamp page.
The guys of Oldermost have been a bit on the quiet side lately, but with good reason – they’ve been hard at work. The earthy Philadelphia five-piece popped on our radar a couple years back with a breathtaking EP (and its wonderful centerpiece track, “Kensington”), and today we got word that the band just wrapped up production on its full-length debut, I Live Here Now, recorded in the hallowed halls of Fishtown’s Miner Street studios with Jonathan Low on the boards (with some home recording in the mix).
The album is due out later this year, but we got a taste today with a two-track teaser digital single – “Close to the Fire” backed with “Once I Left.” The former rides an incredible swell of rootsy guitar tones, while the latter is downtempo and contemplative, both carrying notes of that dreamy, windswept Americana sound of Built to Spill, My Morning Jacket and Lord Huron. Listen to the single below, get a name-your-price download at Bandcamp.
It’s the nicest day of the year so far. I should be writing right now, but I keep looking to the window and the warm sun shining down on Walnut Street; I think about how glad I am that I don’t need my jacket; I think about taking a long walk across Cliveden Park later tonight. It’s a day for a wandering mind and an emphatic exhale, and the new EP from Philly singer-songwriter Mariah Welch seems somehow perfect.
The homies at The Deli hipped me to the release of Bed Bugs last week as Welch was gearing up to play a West Philly Matinee show this weekend. I was excited to hear it, since I’ve been nerding out about Welch’s demos this past year. Maybe the Mirah/Mariah parallel is a too obvious one, but Welch’s music is imbued with that same K Records style simplicity, honesty, straightforward introspection, a tender touch of heartbreak and a lot of warm comfort. This set (her third self-release) is her most sophisticated in its textured harmony layers and haunting use of sonic space; the songs are, in the end, voice and guitar, but they feel like so much more. Bonus points for the excellent Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure reference on the opening track “Wrestle You.” Stream or download Bed Bugs below and listen to it in some breezy outdoorsy location later tonight.
Last July, Sean Huber – the founder / guy who writes all the songs / public face of Steady Hands – gave us Not Many of Us Left, his debut folk-punk inspired EP. Since that day, Huber has given fans plenty of reasons to enjoy his music and dance like maniacs with his spirited lyrics, intimate and passionate solo acoustic performances, and full band performances replete with an overabundance of sweat and beer. In February of this year, Steady Hands released its newest EP, The Libertines, and while it maintains the same folk-punk musical style, it is a full step away with it’s driving drums, group vocals, and overall full sound. The Libertines is fun, deep, riddled with story telling, and something to put your arm around your friends shoulder and sing in each others faces’.
Some of you may know that Mr Huber is the drummer for Modern Baseball, who is – in not so delicate words – wrecking the Philadelphia music scene, as well as the up and coming indie / pop punk scene. If you still can’t put a name to a face, then go to a Steady Hands show. Sean’s an incredibly nice and warm guy, and puts on a hell of show. You can tell by the end of his performance that he loves the music he makes. Mostly by the sheer volume of sweat pouring off the dude. When I say The Libertines is a full step away from his previous release, it truly is a full step. What I mean to say, the sound has matured heavily. Which is to say, the sound was already matured. The songs on the new EP still have the story telling from the previous EP, but in terms of recording, musicianship, dynamics, everything has improved. Which, again, is to say everything mentioned was already gnarly on Not Many of Us Left. Immediately, the first track exemplifies the growth in Sean’s writing.
Starting with a powerful guitar intro, the EP consistently maintains its grip on your ears. Even the last track, which in terms of the rest of the EP is a bit slower, still delivers the overall full sound. While the first EP sounded heavily influenced by folk-punk bands such as Andrew Jackson Jihad and Defiance, Ohio, The Libertines evokes influence from Bomb the Music Industry! and The Menzingers, mainly because this release has much more electric guitar in it, and the last release was heavy on the acoustics. Both super awesome in their own respect.
Give the first release a listen, and then give Steady Hands’ newest release a listen and see how the sound has grown. The Libertines was released on Lame-O records (run by Eric Osman, who rules more than most things) and is available through the Facebook page, or can also be purchased through Steady Hands’ bandcamp. Below you can check out “Song For Rosemary” off of The Libertines. And on April 16th, you can take in the energy in person when Steady Hands plays The Barbary, opening for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Information on the all-ages show can be found here.
She might not be a household name, but Bahamadia was a much-respected mainstay of the Philly hiphop community in the late-90s, releasing music at a steady clip well into to the 00′s (and even appearing at the first incarnation of Ladyfest Philly in 2003).
From her 1996 debut LP Kollage (produced by Guru and the legendary DJ Premier, and streamable on Spotify if you’ve never heard it), she landed several choice collaborations – with major national players like Talib Kweli, Mr. Lif and Erykah Badu, as well as local names like Army of Pharaohs and Jedi Mind Tricks. A couple releases followed up – including 2006′s Good Rap Music – and her modus operandi throughout them has always been a mix of funky, body-moving rhythms with a globally-conscious lyrical perspective.
This week brings a flurry of activity in Bahamadia’s world, with good reason – she just released her first new collection of music in almost seven years. Dialed-Up is a fierce, tightly-packaged eleven minute continuous mix that she produced, wrote and recorded entirely on her handheld mobile device. I’m not sure what’s more impressive – the way this EP was made or the fact that it sounds light years better than any record produced under those circumstances reasonably should. It also signals that the release Bahamadia’s long in-the-making LP Here might be just on the horizon. Give Dialed Up a listen below, and download it for $1 at Bandcamp.