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No Thank You puts the past in its place on “Old News”

No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | via the artist's Facebook page
No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | via the artist’s Facebook page

In a few weeks, Philly newcomers No Thank You will release their full length debut via Lame-O Records. They’ve already shared two of its songs, “Juicy J” and “The Unbearable Purposelessness Of Being”, and now, they’re back with a third. It’s called “Old News”, and it’s their most dynamic offering yet. Before I get into it, though, I know what you’re thinking:

“Great Scott. This sounds like one hot track. Pray tell, where can I stream it?”

Why, you can stream it below, Imaginary Victorian Gentleman. That’s always the way these things happen. Continue reading →

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No Thank You sign to Lame-O records, debut new (old) single “Juicy J”

No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | courtesy of the artist
No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | courtesy of the artist

Kaytee Della-Monica, who records as No Thank You,  only released her debut demo a few months ago, but she’s already signed to Lame-O Records with a full length on the way. In anticipation, she’s shared its lead single, “Juicy J”. The song previously appeared on A Nü Start, as a scratchy acoustic strummer, but now, it’s been given new life with a higher fidelity recording and fleshed-out arrangement. Stream the track, with its Della-Monica designed album cover, below. Continue reading →

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Get to know No Thank You with her debut EP A Nü Start

No Thank You
No Thank You | via nothankyouband.bandcamp.com

Raw acoustics, dreamy vocals, and stunning lyrics are a just a few of the things you can expect from new Philly artist No Thank You.

The project of singer and songwriter Kate Della Monica, No Thank You recently posted a three-track demo on Bandcamp called A Nü Start. The tracks were recorded on her iPhone in Della Monica’s house in South Philly.

The straightforward approach to recording gives these songs a reverberant vibe similar to Bon Iver’s massive hit For Emma, Forever Ago. We hear Della Monica playing acoustic guitar accompanied by breezy vocals; the intro track “Juicy J” juxtaposes a persisting guitar riff with idyllic lyrics: “Colors that are complementing spectral spiral never ending / I feel so astoundingly pretty around you.” It carries a poetic sense of innocence. Continue reading →

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A thank you note to City and Colour on the occasion of their wonderful Electric Factory performance

City and Colour | Photo by Mattew Shaver | www.mattshaverphoto.comAll photos by Matthew Shaver | www.mattshaverphoto.com

After seeing City and Colour at the Electric Factory, or C&C at the music factory, a thank you note is in order.

Thank you City And Colour for a wonderful evening. Thanks for playing a bunch of songs off of Little Hell (personal favorite). Thanks for singing with purpose and playing with heart.

Thank you Dallas for being interactive. Thanks for asking the crowd to put down their phones and cameras, if just for one song, so that we could all be in the moment together. Thanks for acknowledging the antiquated encore ritual that artists insist on going through, and for being honest enough to admit that you exploited it for a bathroom break.

Thank you crowd for being awesome. Thanks for singing along, cheering hard, and being quiet when necessary.

Thank you Electric Factory for friendly staff and a great venue.

Thanks to everyone who was there, especially the friends I was with for making my first City and Colour show absolutely amazing.

Continue reading →

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Meet Field Medic, the West Coast freak-folk poet who will capture your heart at Everybody Hits this Thursday

Field Medic | photo courtesy of artist

If the term “field medic” only and immediately conjures a mental image of medical personnel tending to wounded soldiers in combat, you’re probably wondering who this ginger-bearded DIY lad is that’s currently staring at you from the picture above. At least those were my thoughts a couple of months ago when I first soaked in the bill for the now-upcoming gig at Everybody Hits with Kississippi, Field Medic, Shannen Moser (replacing Harmony Woods), and Cherry. Three of these names I knew, of course — they’re the shining scene stars of Philly. ‘Twas the red-headed string bean who stumped me.

So I took to Field Medic’s Bandcamp, where the hardcore metal-esque black and red profile reading “freak folk/bedroom pop/post-country,” began spinning out a bluegrass-level, live-recorded traditional folk singalong called “do a little dope” — complete with whistles and pup-like howls and hollers. Utterly confused but in a happily surprised sort of way, I chuckled through the array of meme aesthetic titles (e.g. “p e  g a s u s t h o t z,” “NEON FLOWERZ,” “me, my gibberish, & the moon,” etc.) and decided on the track “OTL” next. Harmonica-driven with self-aware, goofy lyrics like the line “I’m at the grocery store buying EBT sushi, wasabi soy sauce one true love,” mixed with true hopeless romantic sincerity, I knew I would be hooked on whatever else awaited me from this refreshing project.

But that left me with the question of who in sam heck is this colorful DIY character who crafts sweet love songs in the most authentic folk tradition? It’s Kevin Patrick, the San-Francisco artist who now splits his time halfway between San Fran and LA, that’s who. He’s had a pretty good year, I’d say, as 2017 brought an induction to the Run For Cover family and the resulting release of his first full-length album, Songs from the Sunroom, with them. But this record is really like a compilation of sorts, as Patrick has been making and sharing self-recorded tracks on Bandcamp for years now — those of which past gems make up this record.

Still left with many questions about the project, I was able to speak with Patrick on the phone last Wednesday morning while he was strolling the streets of San Francisco following his fruitless attempts at thrifting for a boom box to use on tour.  Continue reading →

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Philly collective Sofra spans jazz, hip-hop, funk and soul new EP Not so Not Familiar

Sofra | via sofra.bandcamp.com

Sofra is a Philly based musical collective that has recently released their EP Not so Not Familiar. The term Sofra is Turkish for ‘dinner table’ and speaks to the communal function of their music, not just with the musicians themselves, but also with their listeners. The EP was made in the home studio of Philly area drummer / Key photographer Noah Silvestry, who plays on the record. The quality of the music is quite impressive for a DIY home studio setup. The EP features verses from Sterling Duns and Rick Banks of Philly hip-hop group Hardwork Movement, as well as Qil Rogers.

One of the standout instrumentals on the record is “A Lot to Remember”. It’s an interesting mid-tempo piece that switches up just enough to keep the listener interested without going overboard and getting too busy. I appreciate the way the instruments in this track compliment each other, with no one musician getting too showy or overpowering. It’s a solid display of the group’s musicianship, and the song makes you feel like you’re moving towards something positive. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Vita and the Woolf, Brockhampton, Brandee Younger, G. Love and more

Brockhampton
Brockhampton | photo by Ashlan Grey | courtesy of the artist

This week we get something of a break in the live music landscape on Sunday, when there are pretty much zero shows of note and a couple cancellations due to the Eagles making it to the Super Bowl. There are more than enough options the rest of the week to keep you entertained, though. From two double headers packing the house (Brockhampton at TLA, G. Love at The Fillmore) to solid showings from local faves (Vita and the Woolf tonight, T.J. Kong on Friday), you’ve got no excuse for staying in. Continue reading →

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Experimental harpist Brandee Younger will kick off Ars Nova’s 2018 season at Johnny Brenda’s

Brandee Younger | photo by Jatiphoto | via brandee.bandcamp.com

Opening for local experimental jazz / rock band Desertion Trio (on their album release party night, nonetheless), New York’s Brandee Younger is certain to deliver a cordial opening set to kick off the celebration this February. Having performed with modern legends ranging from Lauryn Hill to Common, The Roots to Ravi Coltrane, and more recently appearing on NPR’s Tiny Desk series with Moses Sumney, it is clear that Younger has established herself as one of the best harpists in the modern Jazz and R&B scenes – but this wasn’t always her scene. Continue reading →