From London, singer and songwriter Lyla Foy recently released her debut album, Mirrors The Sky on Sub Pop. Stepping away from her previous performing name as WALL, Foy’s music didn’t change. Now – under her own name, as she did as WALL – Foy builds layers of beats, keyboards, and vocal melodies on her computer, creating ambient, ethereal and sometimes groove laden songs. Musically, Foy lives in a continuum of musical style and sounds that are reminiscent of Kate Bush and Tori Amos. Below, download her cover of Amos’s “Cornflake Girl.”
One of the many local bands playing the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru is Commonwealth Choir. The Doylestown indie-rockers will be opening up the day on Saturday, July 26th at 12:30. Earlier this year, the band recorded a Key Studio Session, performing songs from their recent EP and a couple of new songs. Below, download “Palace,” and make sure you watch the video of their performance of “Pacers.”
Commonwealth Choir are playing World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington, tomorrow evening, Friday, July 11th at the New Sweden record release party. And you’ll be seeing them at #xpnfest on Saturday, July 25th. Go here for tickets to the fesyival.
New York rock and roll trio Heaven’s Jail, recently featured as a World Cafe: Next are releasing a new album, Ace Called Zero, on August 26th. The album was was produced by Matthew Houck – AKA Phosphorescent. Houck says about the band:
“I had heard some of these songs in-progress at Heaven’s Jail shows,” says Houck, “and I wanted to be involved with the record that they were going to make. Francesco is my favorite kind of songwriter: sensitive but not sappy, smart but not precious. He has the ability to casually sneak complex imagery and metaphor into a deceptively simple package. It’s just great songwriting. Simple as that.”
Along with that great songwriting comes inspired playing and singing. There’s no pretension here; just straight forward rock and roll storytelling with a slight country fried sensibility. Fronted by singer and guitarist Francesco Ferorelli, the band includes James Preston on bass/harmonies, and Ethan Schmid on drums. With a sound that draws on the spirits of Lou Reed and Warren Zevon, Heaven’s Jail often sounds like a spirited clash between Drive By Truckers and Velvet Underground.
Chrissie Hynde recently released her solo debut album, Stockholm. It’s been 35 years since the Pretenders released their incredible self-titled debut, and stepping out on her own, Hynde collaborated with Björn Yttling, of the Swedish pop band Peter Bjorn and John, on Stockholm. Hynde was recently on World Cafe with Cafe host David Dye. They talked about the new album, the process of collaborating with Bjorn, and performed four songs during the session. Listen to the entire session here.
Below, download a World Cafe performance of “You Or No One.”
One of the best rock albums of 2014 so far is Do To The Beast, the first album of all new album in 16 years by The Afghan Whigs. On Friday October 3rd, WXPN Welcomes the Whigs to Union Transfer. In May, the band played a blistering set at XPN’s Non-COMMvention. Below, watch a video of their classic “Fountain and Fairfax” from the show, and download “Matamoros,” a song from the new album.
In the spirit of the July 4th holiday, blues musician Keb’ Mo’ has recorded a solo acoustic version of “America The Beautiful,” that you can download for free here. Mo’ has recorded the standard before on his Big Wide Grin album, and has re-recorded a passionate, soulful solo version of the song. Mo”s new album, Bluesamericana, is a collection of acoustic based blues songs influenced by gospel and R&B.
Download “American The Beautiful” here, and Happy July 4th!
“Under These Hands” is another slice of jangly shoegazing rock and roll from the Dum Dum Girls’ recent release, Too True. The band were recently on World Cafe. Listen to the session here. Below, download “Under These Hands.”