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Hear Full Bush, Resilient, Lizdelise and more in NonMutant Presents’ Unite! benefit compilation

Full Bush | photo by Lindsay Steigerwald | via facebook.com/FullBushBand

Brooklyn-based label NonMutant has just released Unite!, its second volume in a series of charitable Bandcamp compilations. The 26-track volume features songs from emerging Philly and NYC artists, including familiar faces Sheena & Thee Nosebleeds, Lizdelise, Full BushResilient, and many more. All proceeds from its sale will go to United We Dream, an immigration advocacy organization that focuses on securing protections and educational access for immigrants, preventing deportations, and supporting LGBTQ immigrants. Continue reading →

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Restorations brings a wiser perspective to LP5000, now streaming at NPR First Listen

Restorations

Restorations | photo by Emily Dubin | courtesy of the artist

Philly indie five-piece Restorations conceived their latest album LP5000 during a period of turmoil and transition. In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, and facing setbacks within the independent realm of the music industry, the band took a mental health break. Each member pursued their own projects or made strives in their personal lives: for Jon Loudon, the giant leap was marriage, for Dave Klyman it was heading to grad school, and for Ben Pierce it was opening his own vegan restaurant in South Philly, The Tasty. After switching record labels and taking time to get it together, the band returned for this piece of work — which is streaming a week ahead of its release date over at NPR Music. Full of reflective songwriting and pensive lyrics, LP5000 portrays a slightly wiser perspective and heightened awareness of the world. Continue reading →

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Cherry is back with new EP Strong; watch video for “Don’t Be Long”

Cherry | photo by Rachel Del Sordo | courtesy of the artist

Philly five-piece Cherry has had a quiet year — or so we thought. Early this summer, the band was evidently busy recording a new 7″, and it’s out today both digitally and physically via Lame-O Records. Strong brings us three new tracks of classic Cherry rock goodness, plus a collage-like video for lead single “Don’t Be Long” that gives us a fuzzed-out look at the band’s life on the road that proves the perfect match for the hazy tone of their music. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Thin Lips

“I was going to tell you what this song is about,” Chrissy Tashjian told a sold out crowd at PhilaMOCA last month, “but you’re smart. You’ll figure it out.”

The jam in question, a two-and-a-half minute rager called “South America” from the latest Thin Lips record Chosen Family, doesn’t require a ton of decoding. It wears its message very much on its sleeve — or rather, in its hook: “And now you’ll go to South A-MER-I-CA / with a woman that you only met last month.” So it’s a very literal breakup story, yes, but the telling of it is much more complex than such a label would imply, exploring themes of incompatibility, impatience, rejection, and unappreciated emotional labor: “let’s hear the line / the one that goes ‘Chris, I’ve never seen you try.’ / The line, the one that goes / ‘All I do is try.'”

I mentioned that its a rager, yeah? In the hands of Tashjian and her Thin Lips bandmates, the story behind “South America” becomes a soaring emo anthem, a song with interlocked instrumental complexity that’s incredibly fun, even as it unpacks personal lows. But that’s what this band has been all about since emerging on the Philly scene back in 2013 with the Gemini Moon EP — Tashjian took the name Thin Lips for her band because she is terrible at keeping secrets, and in their telling, she transforms them into something uplifting and pure.

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Fairy Godmother finds herself on new EP

Alyssa Thomas | photo courtesy of the artist

Alyssa Thomas records as Fairy Godmother, a name that embodies the tone of her music: at once full of maternal wisdom and a childlike faith in magic and mysticism. The first EP from Fairy Godmother, Attic Space, was released with Fox Food Records last spring. Even in that brief interlude of time, her latest effort, Spit It Out marks a budding transformation. This time around, Thomas collaborated with friends Nick Tate, Conor Ryan and John Heywood of (Sandy) Alex G. The 5-track EP presents an aesthetically pleasing symmetry, following typical story structure complete with exposition, climax and denouement. Continue reading →

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Listen to a classic Grateful Dead performance at the Spectrum, September 21st 1972

Throw a dart at a calendar and you’ve got a decent shot at hitting the anniversary of a Grateful Dead show at the Spectrum. The band had a storied history with the classic Philly venue. It was the only site they played in every decade from the 60’s to the 90s’s. This very special soundboard recording comes from just the second of the Dead’s fifty-three Spectrum appearances. Continue reading →

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Japanese Breakfast is playing a free show at Dogfish Head Brewery

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

Delaware craft beer trailblazers Dogfish Head will throw their 8th annual Analog-A-Go-Go festival at their Milton brewery. The two-day festival features beer, local food trucks, an onsite record store, and a free performance by indie pop star Japanese Breakfast on Friday, November 16th.  Continue reading →

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Yowler flirts with doom on the new “Where Is My Light”

Yowler | photo by Sam Split | courtesy of the artist

Yowler, the solo project of Maryn Jones of Saintseneca and All Dogs, has shared new single, “Where Is My Light?,” the latest from upcoming album Black Dog In My Path.

“Where Is My Light” verges on metal with a trudging, slumped bassline and heavy rhythm section that threatens to swallow her the fragile thread of her voice. The lyrics are eerie, saturated with dark imagery. In this doomsday soundtrack, Yowler is searching fruitlessly for some semblance of hope in a shadowy and sunken place. Continue reading →

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Now Hear This: New songs from Dizzy, Mitski, Mirah, Tirzah, Jake Shears and Years & Years, and more

Mitski
Mitski | photo by Bao Ngo | courtesy of the artist

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

Alright, here we go: it’s prime time! Besides bringing with it probably the most satisfyingly distinct, decisive seasonal shift of them all – both meteorologically and culturally – September is reliably one of the biggest and busiest months for new music releases. And this year is no exception: every Friday this month is marked by a veritable embarrassment of riches, with plenty of big names and lots more worthy lesser-knowns in danger of being overshadowed. I’ll do my best to sift through the glut of goodness and report back to you next month – I’m only the scraping the surface of September’s bounty in the selections below, many of which date from later August. This month’s trawl, meanwhile, brings us a mixture of autumn-ready atmospherics and last-gasp-of-summer throwback vibes (keep ‘em handy, though; it’s bound to heat up again for at least a minute.) In approximate sequence, you’ll find: a bevy of single-named singer-songwriter beauties, some slinky mood jams of varying degrees of oddness, a trio of big, bold, brazenly gay pop bangers, and a bit of truly bizarro R&B. NB: Over half of the featured artists also have upcoming Philly concert dates! Continue reading →