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Philly’s Church Girls drop “Better Off,” a glorious preview of Hidalgo

Church Girls | photo courtesy of churchgirls.bandcamp.com

Philly-based indie rock quartet Church Girls is gearing up to release their second album, Hidalgo, on September 15th. Front woman Mariel Beaumont’s knack for frequenting basement shows and drinking 40’s in her teenage years seems to have seeped into her guitar-forward, rough-around-the-edges songwriting; melodic electric guitar work and snappy drum riffs are at the core of “Better Off,” a preview from the new record.

If it’s any indication of the rest of the album, maybe we’re in for more pop than punk. The band initially turned heads with their debut EP in 2015, and will most likely do the same with this latest collection of songs, however stylistically different from their first record. Take a listen to “Better Off.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Church Girls at Ortlieb’s, Caroline Reese at Sellersville Theater, Lee Fields and the Expressions at Union Transfer and more

Church Girls
Church Girls | Photo by Chris Sikich | sikichphotography.com

Local indie rockers Church Girls make a stop at Ortlieb’s for a fantastic gig with The National Reserve and Tinnarose. Think if Franke Cosmos decided to expand her haiku-like sound with some dirtier guitars, and you end up with some lovely post-punk. The gig is 21+, and more information/tickets can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Church Girls skate through the summer haze in breezy new video for “Friends & Idols”

Church Girls
Church Girls | photo by Charlie W | courtesy of the artist

Find me a kid in all of suburbia who wasn’t itching at their desk in anticipation of their school’s final dismissal bell — an unmistakable signifier of the beginning of summer. Once the clock strikes, brown paper bag lunches are swapped for Pop Tarts and skateboarding the day away takes the place of gym class. For many, a carefree summer like that is one rooted in nostalgia and memory, no longer a tangible reality. Yet here comes Philly indie four-piece Church Girls, recreating scenes of youth in their new music video for “Friends & Idols,” and for a short time, in real life as well. Continue reading →

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Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds: Church Girls

Mariel Beaumont and Rob Dywer of Church Girls perform at Ortlieb's | Photo by Charlie Wrzesniewski | Courtesy of the artist
Mariel Beaumont and Rob Dywer of Church Girls perform at Ortlieb’s | Photo by Charlie Wrzesniewski | Courtesy of the artist

Hello there, it’s me. Your good friend summer. I’m here to tell you: congratulations on making it through fall through spring. It’s been a tough row, for sure: the pumpkin-flavored everything, the bulky coats and jackets, the “April showers” that last well into May. The good news is: the worst is over. From here on out it’s nothing but music festivals and going down the shore; water ice and jean shorts and cocktails with tiny umbrellas. Isn’t that what this column is all about?

It’s true. This is year THREE of Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds, our seasonal foray into summer drinking and summer vibes, where we kick back with our favorite bands, share a drink, and wax poetic about summers past and present. For our first 2016 edition, I meet up with rising Philly band Church Girls, whose cathartic basement rockers bring back memories of sweating it out at DIY punk shows in Jersey, on summer nights when the only thing holding you back was your imagination and your car (a ’93 Taurus for me) – your ticket out of the suburbs and into something real and raw.

Church Girls formed in 2014 in Philadelphia, around singer/songwriter Mariel Beaumont, a soft-spoken beauty who comes alive when performing. Prior to our interview, I catch Church Girls Saturday night at Boot & Saddle (appropriately, opening for first ever Sips band, Work Drugs)—and am impressed by her passion and talent. Especially striking is a cover of Modest Mouse’s “Custom Concern,” Beaumont closing her eyes as if feeling every lyric.

2016 has been a big year for Church Girls. Their debut full-length, Thousand Lives, dropped this January (listen here on Spotify); post-release they gigged regularly in Philly and NYC, earning the requisite blog buzz along the way. It also saw some changes, such as the departure of original members Jack Firneno and Max Beaumont—the latter Mariel’s twin and confidant (read about it here) —and the addition of new members James Udinsky and Will Schwartz. As for Mariel herself, 2016 has been a year of growth—she tells me she recently quit her job to focus on Church Girls full-time, and has been writing songs with longtime guitarist Robert Dwyer.

For our interview, I meet up with Mariel and Rob at South Philly’s Cantina—in between margaritas and tequila sodas, we talk summer soundtracks and summers spent skating and lounging. Read on to discover what tunes are on their summer soundtrack, their best and worst summer vacations, and why they’ll never be able to re-capture the exuberance of summers past, no matter how hard they try. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Little Green Cars at Union Transfer, Church Girls at Ortlieb’s, American Babies at The Abbey Bar

Little Green Cars
Little Green Cars | photo courtesy of the artist

Dublin folk / pop five piece Little Green Cars returned this spring with their sophomore album, Ephemera, and their tour in support of it comes to Union Transfer tonight; opening the gig is John Mark Nelson. The new music sees the band stretching its dynamic skill even further, with “The Song They Play Every Night” starting out quiet as a kitten and building to something rapturous. Listen to it below, and get more information at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Junglepussy at Union Transfer, Fake Boyfriend at Boot & Saddle, Church Girls at Ortlieb’s and more…

Happy Birthday #TheBoxNYC Thanks for having me lastnight! 📷 @BFA

A photo posted by junglepussy (@junglepussy) on

Junglepussy opens for Le1f at Union Transfer tonight. The Brooklyn rapper released her debut mixtape in 2014,  following it up with last year’s critically acclaimed, self-released Pregnant with Success full-length. Watch “Spicy103 FM” below and pick up tickets for the all-ages show here.

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Church Girls and MINKA team up on “Deserve”

Church Girls
Church Girls | Photo by Charlie Wrzesniewski | courtesy of the artist

Philebrity shared a new song from Church Girls today that features fellow locals MINKA. The recording took place at Miner Street Recording in January for a Weathervane Music Workshop and the result is a fully-harnessed sparkling pop / rock song about navigating the world post-break-up. There’s no shred of self-pity or wallowing though, as Mariel Beaumont attacks her lyrics with confidence as MINKA absolutely rip through the lush instrumental arrangements.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Church Girls at Johnny Brenda’s, Blood Sound at Everybody Hits, Kool Keith at Kung Fu Necktie and more…

Church Girls
Church Girls | Photo by Charlie Wrzesniewski | courtesy of the artist

Local indie rockers Church Girls are in the middle of a quick DC-Philly-NYC roadtrip and headline Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The band is celebrating the release of its debut full-length Thousand Lives, and to mark this milestone frontwoman Mariel Beaumont reflected on her relationship with music in Philadelphia. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Madalean Gauze and Queen of Jeans can be found here. Check out “Dead” below.

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Read a loving ode to the Philly music scene, penned by Church Girls’ Mariel Beaumont

Church Girls
Church Girls | Photo by Charlie Wrzesniewski | courtesy of the artist

Philly four-piece Church Girls just released their debut LP Thousand Lives (read The Key’s review here) and are gearing up for a record-release show on Friday at Johnny Brenda’s.

Frontwoman Mariel Beaumont recently wrote for Medium about her experience growing up in Philly and going to shows, and how these long nights spent squished in sweaty basements led her to trash her plans for grad school and instead form Church Girls.

“I started [Church Girls] as a side project to fill the musical void in my life,” Beaumont writes. “In the last year, however, it has fully absorbed me in the best way possible, even causing me to leave my job of six years that I loved to pursue a new path in the music industry.”

Beaumont may have never started Church Girls were it not for Johnny Brenda’s. Continue reading →