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Oxblood and Cabbage walk through the journey of love with self-titled split EP

Oxblood | from oxbloody.bandcamp.com
Oxblood | from oxbloody.bandcamp.com

Philadelphia’s basement scene breeds collaboration, and when bands aren’t lugging pounds of equipment down Mantua’s splintery stairs, they’re coming together to make some honest-to-goodness indie rock. Newcomers Cabbage and Oxblood recently released a self-titled and self-produced split EP, sharing their intimate bedroom pop with the world.

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Peak into the millennial’s sullen psyche with So Totally’s new EP, a cheap close-up of heaven

so totally | from sototally.bandcamp.com
so totally | from sototally.bandcamp.com

To every beer-drinking millennial spending their nights in a South Philly basement: this ones for you. Local four-piece So Totally released their debut EP a cheap close-up of heaven late last week, taking noise rock’s wall of sound and mashing it with the emo-riddled slow indie rock jams found in the alleyways of this fair city.

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Check out two immersive new tunes from Philly singer-songwriter Thom McCarthy

Thom McCarthy | photo via http://thommccarthy.bandcamp.com/
Thom McCarthy | photo via http://thommccarthy.bandcamp.com/

Philadelphia singer-songwriter Thom McCarthy gets an A+ for song titles. The Philly singer-songwriter just this week released two tracks from his forthcoming record, and they are called “Primal Whistle of the Wind” and “Hobnob With the Doomed.” I don’t think anymore needs to be said; these curiosity-inducing phrases get your brain working before you even hit play (or maybe it’s just me).

“Primal Whistle of the Wind” is carried by resonant acoustic guitar and paired with earnest vocals that depict a struggle to escape an emotional purgatory. “Hobnob with the Doomed” is driven forward by similar instrumental arrangements with slight deviations in style. The lyrics appear to introduce a narrative, that could span the LP, in which listeners and / or the storyteller venture down a road that leads them out of purgatory, but quickly transitions into Hell.  Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Mannequin Pussy

It’s certainly not inaccurate to call Philly’s Mannequin Pussy a punk band. We’ve described them that way quite a bit, and given the revved up guitars, vocal howls and minute-and-a-half songs that make this year’s Romantic such a gripping listen, it’s not entirely inaccurate. But sometimes “punk” can be a limiting bit of jargon, especially when used in the more puritanical sense — the definition that eschews ambitious production, or nuanced songwriting, or any kind of artistic complexity.

And complexity, no doubt, is compelling. It can be the dynamic tide of the album’s title track, or the interspersing of acoustic arrangements amid the fray. It can be frontwoman Marisa Dabice’s bold vocals that are as much of an emotional gut-punch on the tender melodies as they are on the visceral snarls. So in that regard, I would say that Mannequin Pussy are absolutely not punk, and all the better for it. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Listen to Tinmouth’s modern take on the ’80s underground with new A Letter From Home EP

Tinmouth | photo courtesy of the artist
Tinmouth | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly alt-rock trio Tinmouth just dropped a two-song EP in anticipation of their ten-day tour starting on December 2nd. The EP, A Letter From Home, is a modern take on all of your favorite ’80s underground music a la Yo La Tengo and R.E.M. This release precedes an planned 2017 full-length record. Continue reading →

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Archawah fuses retro-soul and alternative pastiche on “Good Thang”

Archawah
Archawah | Photo courtesy of the artist

Bucks County native Chris Archibald continues his Archawah project with the new track “Good Thang,” which premiered over at Impose earlier this week. True to Archawah’s style, the cut is a fusion of earworm beats of the late 90s / early 00s alternative pastiche era (think White Town’s “Your Woman”), but with a heck of a lot of soul inspiration dug up from Stax and Motown. Of the song, Arch tells Impose it is “a false reality. There’s a lot of terrible things happening out there. We gotta keep our chins up for our own sanity.” Give a listen and grab a download below. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Ron Gallo

If we’ve learned anything watching Philly-bred songsmith Ron Gallo for the better part of the past decade, it’s this: dude can do it all. Propulsive electric blues? Check. Sprawling big-band Americana? Check. Jangling global pop? Check. Leon Redbone-esque roots folk excursions? Check.

After logging innumerable Philly hours as leader of Toy Soldiers, a solo artist, a variety show promoter and sometimes comedian, Gallo skipped town late last year for a new start in Nashville, which suits his current musical interests quite well. Sure, it’s the capital of twang, and Gallo’s back-catalog has twang in spades. But the city has experienced a massive garage-punk resurgence in the past decade, from JEFF The Brotherhood, Diarrhea Planet and The Ettes to Jack White making the city the home base of his Third Man Records.

Gallo’s new Heavy Meta LP fits right into that zeitgeist, with propulsive riffs, hair-raising howls and a fierce power trio configuration: Joe Bisirri on bass, Dylan Sevey on drums, all three chipping in on vocals. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Explore the somber western landscape that is home to Brandon Can’t Dance’s “Angelina”

Brandon Can't Dance
Brandon Can’t Dance | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Brandon Can’t Dance, also known as Brandon Ayres, released a new track called “Angelina” this week, the latest teaser his forthcoming LP Graveyard of Good Times. The record is out January 13th via Lucky Number Records.

“Angelina” is only the second song released off the record and we already can’t wait. It opens with a coarse acoustic guitar riff and a musical monologue about a woman struggling with depression as her friends build lives of their own. The story might as well have come right out of a Flannery O’Connor novel, and Ayres follows with some gravelly vocals that are a stark contrast to those in the first song released off the album, “Smoke and Drive Around.” Continue reading →

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Post War Dream’s “Fading In” serves as a catalyst for a necessary conversation

Post War Dream | photo via https://www.facebook.com/postwardreamband/
Post War Dream | photo via https://www.facebook.com/postwardreamband/

The first track released off Philadelphia band Post War Dream‘s projected 2017 release We’ll Be Just Fine takes a heavy topic and starts a necessary conversation.

“Fading In” details the devastation of addiction, and is meant a beacon for those struggling with it, as well as those who care about them. Continue reading →