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For the members of Lancaster indie rock crew Spill, this is their second go as a band, but very much informed by their first. The four-piece is made up of members of howling punk rock outfits Placeholder and We Were Skeletons, both of which went hard on the DIY touring circuit, landing on house shows and festivals, in some ways becoming better known in other corners of the country than they were back home. But life as a musician is easy for nobody, and when Placeholder’s set at FEST 13 – one of their final shows – pretty much consisted of frontman Brandon Gepfer playing acoustic in a courtyard, it seemed that a turning of the tide was in motion.
Enter Spill, which emerged in March with an incredible track called “Sucks Either Way.” It took a more melodic, fuzz-rock direction in the vein of Pavement, Nirvana and Weezer. Thanks to strong support from the Brooklyn Vegan crew right out the gate, the new band got their name out there in a big way, following it up with a lively music video. Lyrically, though, the song explores the flipside of creative life versus nine-to-five live in grim detail. Continue reading →
Heart Harbor is the new project from Kerry Hallett, a long-time Philly / Portland singer-songwriter who has worked with Ali Wadsworth and members of Northern Arms. “Hating Nothing” comes to us from Heart Harbor’s debut Tender Trap EP, a collection of songs produced by Erin McKeown and recorded at Miner Street. Continue reading →
As we begin to look back at the year in music, one of our favorite albums of 2015 was singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile’s The Firewatcher’s Daughter. Since her last record, she got married, and had a daughter with her wife. Earlier this year, Carlile, and “The Twins” – Tim and Phil Hanseroth – were on World Cafe with David Dye.
Listen to her World Cafe session below, and download “Wilder (We’re Chained)” from the session below. And make sure you watch her Cafe performance of “The Eye.” Continue reading →
Drexel University band Plainview stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session. They brought some new music with them, a second batch of material following up last springs I’ve Seen This Before debut that sees the four-piece evolving in complexity and style. Listen to “Undertones” below and download the full set here.
As we head into the last month of the year, next week WXPN will begin asking for your best songs of 2015 for WXPN’s Best of 2015 week, when XPN hosts will be sharing with you our favorite songs and albums and new music discoveries, as well as playing back the Top 100 songs of the year as voted on by the XPN community. One of our favorite albums of 2015 was Strange Trails by Lord Huron. Continue reading →
World Cafe host David Dye recently put the World Cafe: Next spotlight on The Vulgar Boatmen. The band began in the early Eighties as two bands, one led by Robert Ray in Florida, the other by Dale Lawrence in Indiana. Continue reading →
The latest band to emerge from the fertile grounds surrounding Drexel University’s Music Industry program is Plainview, and it has had a productive 2015. Fronted the enthusiastic Jeremy Berkin on vocals and guitar, the uber-catchy pop punk outfit also features drummer Dan Siper, lead guitarist Josh Leib and Lauren Altman (a Key intern) on bass. Their well-received debut I’ve Seen This Before was recorded in the winter and released in the spring, along with an infectious music video for “Ten Feet Tall.” The band undertook a spring tour with fellow Philadelphians Mike Pays Heat and is hunkering down again this winter to record its full length record, but not before stopping by WXPN to preview new music for The Key Studio Sessions. Continue reading →