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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Mister Heavenly

Mister Heavenly | Photo by Katie Tapman for WXPN

Joining us for this Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is a group whose members have all visited us before, both separately and together (long, long ago). Mister Heavenly was formed by Nick Thorburn of Islands, Ryan “Honus Honus” Kattner of Man Man and Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse and The Shins around seven years ago. Back then, when their debut album Out Of Love came out, they stopped by our studios to record a handful of live tracks. Joining the trio this time around is bassist Brett Morris, who doubles on guitar in Kattner’s solo Honus Honus band. Even if you can’t keep all those affiliations straight, it’s easy to fall in love with Mister Heavenly’s long-awaited new album, Boxing The Moonlight. Before a sold-out show, the four friends returned to our studio to perform a few of the new songs live.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Cults

Cults | Photo by Eric Schuman for WXPN

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is the New York-based band Cults. Formed in 2010 by singer Madeline Follin and keyboardist/producer Brian Oblivion, Cults are no strangers to our building; they’ve visited for assorted sessions and Free at Noon concerts over the years. This time around, they bring material from their newly released third album, Offering. Recorded after the band took an extended break, the record explores influences that weren’t so apparent on the group’s earlier recordings. Heavy electronic rhythms and spacey textures are coupled with the core duo’s signature pop songwriting to create a sound that’s both fresh and familiar. Follin and Oblivion are joined by longtime touring members in this session: guitarist Gabriel Rodriguez, drummer Cory Stier and bassist Max Kamins.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: The Safes

The Safes | Photo by Eric Schuman for WXPN

For our latest Indie Rock Hit Parade live session, we’re joined by the Chicago garage-pop combo The Safes! Formed by brothers Frankie and Patrick O’Malley, The Safes recently released their third full-length album, Tasty Waves, on Hidden Volume Records. More than just a throwback rock crew, The Safes combine punchy pop songcraft with the ragged edges of ’90s indie. Top that off with harmonies that can only come from a pair of brothers and you’ve got an instantly likable performance.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Madeline Kenney

Madeline Kenney | Photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is an artist who actually visited our building earlier this year when she was on tour with another band. Madeline Kenney caught the ear of Toro y Moi’s Chaz Bear, who produced her first EP as well as her recently released debut album, Night Night at the First Landing. Kenney was traveling with Bear and the Mattson 2 when they recorded their IRHP session in the spring, and it was only a matter of time before Kenney returned for her time in the spotlight.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Dent May

Dent May | Photo by Eric Schuman for WXPN

Joining us in the studio for our latest Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is a musician that I’ve been a fan of since his humble beginning with a ‘magnificent ukulele.’ Dent May is originally from Mississippi, but recently relocated to Los Angeles. This fish-out-of-water story serves as partial inspiration for Dent’s new album, Across The Multiverse, which was released this summer on Carpark Records. Featuring a blend of effervescent electro-pop and Brill Building-informed songwriting, the album shows off Dent’s nearly obsessive approach to music making. With a full touring band in tow, Dent joins us in the studio to play some of the new songs.

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Charly Bliss

Charly Bliss | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is the NY “bubblegum punk” quartet Charly Bliss. Formed just a few short years ago by singer Eva Hendricks guitarist Spencer Fox, drummer Sam Hendricks and bassist Dan Shure. Charly Bliss released their debut album, Guppy, earlier this year. Plenty of other bands’ music sits at the crossroads of grunge and glitz, but what sets Charly Bliss apart is the band’s intricate harmonies. You’ll hear them on the three songs they performed live in our studio:

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The Guppy Effect: Charly Bliss LIVE, new Belle & Sebastian, The Clientele & Stars on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Charly Bliss | Photo by Jacqueline Harriet

After a short, festival-induced break, the Indie Rock Hit Parade is back and better than ever tonight at 11pm ET on XPN! Stay tuned after the similar return of Making Time RADio with Dave P for a full two-hour show that’ll waste no time in getting you back into an IRHP frame of mind. First up, we’ve got a brand new live session to share: NYC ‘bubblegum punks’ Charly Bliss released their debut album back in the spring, and they’ll play some tracks from Guppy live in our studio! There’s also a pile of brand new music that’s been growing taller and taller since our last meeting, so be sure to listen for new releases from Belle & Sebastian, Wolf Parade, Stars, The Clientele and more! Preview some of the new things below…

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Need to Feel Your Soft Sounds in the Storm: New Sheer Mag, Japanese Breakfast and Waxahatchee on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Sheer Mag
Sheer Mag | photo by Marie Lin | courtesy of the artist

A jam-packed Indie Rock Hit Parade is coming your way tonight, and there’s no way to stop it! Listen at 11pm ET on XPN (that’s right after What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese, ya know?) for a full two-hour show that features not one, not two, but THREE spotlights on new releases from three very different bands out of Philly. We’ll hear from Sheer Mag‘s incendiary debut, Need To Feel Your Love, the dreamy sophomore album from Japanese Breakfast, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, and (of course) the latest from Katie Crutchfield’s Waxahatchee, Out In The Storm. Also in the mix, you’ll hear new tracks from Speedy Ortiz, Cults and Parquet Courts singer A. Savage! Preview some of those below…

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Declare Independence: AMERICAN PUNK 3 on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Downtown Boys | Photo by Miguel Rosario, courtesy of the artist

Lace up those kickers and get ready to get rowdy as the Indie Rock Hit Parade presents AMERICAN PUNK 3: A July 4th (adjacent) special! Listen at 11pm ET on XPN (that’s right after this month’s Land of the Lost with Robert Drake, of course) for a full two-hour salute to American Punks of all generations. We’ll hear new releases from Austin’s A Giant Dog, Providence’s Downtown Boys and Philly’s own Sheer Mag, alongside classic cuts from Descendents, the Misfits and Sleater-Kinney! Preview some of the new cuts below…

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I Want More CAN: An Indie Rock Hit Parade Special

Can | Photo courtesy of the artist

On this week’s Indie Rock Hit Parade, we highlight the music and legacy of the celebrated German experimental band Can. To coincide with the release of a new, career-spanning singles box set, our show features some of Can’s best-known and pioneering works alongside a few contemporary bands who keep their spirit alive.

Plenty has already been written about Can and their unconventional approach to music. The band has been the subject of tribute concerts, archival reissues and art installations, and a multi-volume biography from music journalist Rob Young is slated for publication in 2018. Rather than reiterating what so many have already said, I’ll instead present a few of the modern bands who have taken a significant amount of inspiration from Can’s unorthodox approach to recording.
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