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Mitch Esparza releases experimental phone-recorded EP under moniker ME

Photo by Chris Beat

Philadelphia-based experimental guitarist Mitch Esparza returned with a new EP this week. Released under his ME project, MEMO is the followup to previously released MEEP. Folkadelphia host Fred Knittel once described Esparza as a “scrapbooker,” reinforcing the statement by saying “a scrapbooker not only has style, but a strong, distinctive vision for his art, which totally describes Mitch.” While the quote is from early 2017, the descriptor still holds true today. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Mirah will bring Understanding to Johnny Brenda’s

Mirah | photo by Emily Zeitlyn | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia-born but Brooklyn-based musician Mirah will return to her first hometown this fall for a show at Johnny Brenda’s on October 13, touring behind the release of her forthcoming sixth LP Understanding. She’s been writing, recording and touring for over 20 years now, and various iterations of her music have seen her span personas from acoustic singer/songwriter to experimental pop artist and everything in between. Continue reading →

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Spirit of the Beehive shares “d​.​o​.​u​.​b​.​l​.​e​.​u​.​r​.​o​.​n​.​g.” from new album Hypnic Jerks

Spirit of the Beehive
Spirit of the Beehive | photo by Emily Burtner | courtesy of the artist

Spirit of the Beehive are in full record release prep mode, but with a band like this there’s no such thing as business as usual. Ever unpredictable in their sound, the band is back with a second single, “d​.​o​.​u​.​b​.​l​.​e​.​u​.​r​.​o​.​n​.​g.,” from their forthcoming album Hypnic Jerks, out September 14. This will be Spirit of the Beehive’s third full length album, and it comes just over a year after their last one, Pleasure Suck. Continue reading →

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Listen to the multi-movement suite “The Fire” from Lemon Twigs’ upcoming musical LP Go To School

The Lemon Twigs
The Lemon Twigs | photo courtesy of the artist

Beloved Long Island rockers Brian and and Michael and D’Addario, better known as the Lemon Twigs, released a 6-minute multi-movement epic “The Fire”, the third single from their upcoming 15 track “musical” Go To School. 

The album “tells the coming-of-age story of Shane, a pure of heart chimpanzee raised as a human boy” and features contributions from Todd Rundgren, Big Star’s Joey Stephens, and the D’Addario brothers’ mom and dad. Rundgren is an obvious point of reference on “The Fire”, which feels something like a montage of 70’s styles from AOR singer-songwriters to the theatrics of Elton John and Queen. How exactly the song’s narrative fits into the larger plot is a mystery yet to be known, but the story of “The Fire” alone is satisfying and even a bit moving in its absurd drama.  Continue reading →

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Cat Power shares new song “Woman,” featuring Lana Del Rey

Cat Power
Cat Power | photo by Eliot Lee Hazel | courtesy of the artist

After a six-year absence from releasing music, Cat Power is back in full force with a new single and a Lana Del Rey guest appearance. “Woman” is the first full song we’ve heard from her forthcoming album Wanderer, which will be released in the fall; Cat Power previously shared a short preview of the title track. Continue reading →

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Get acquainted with the atmospheric indie anthems of Lester

Lester | photo by Georgia Smith | courtesy of the artist

The forces that would produce the Philly indie quartet Lester were set in motion about two years ago when drummer Tim McMonigle invited high school classmate Juli McCue to photograph a performance by his current band, the Chelsea Kills. When McCue and Chelsea Kills bassist Alex Ruane met guitarist Hannah Kolitz at a Creep records show shortly thereafter, the trio joked about having a jam session together. The rest, as they say, is history. With McMonigle on drums, Lester made their live debut in July 2017 and released their debut EP swamp almost exactly a year later. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Letters to Cleo will play their first Philly show since 1995 at Underground Arts this fall

Letters to Cleo
Letters to Cleo | courtesy of the artist

Whether you know them from back in the 90’s or from their recent resurgence sparked by an episode of Parks and Recreation, it’s safe to say Letters to Cleo are something of a cult favorite. Though they disbanded in 2000 after their initial 10-year run, the band reunited a few years ago, and it seems like they’re back for good. Since the reunion, Letters to Cleo has played primarily in their hometown of Boston, but this fall they’re taking things on the road, with a show at Underground Arts on November 14. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: illuminati hotties headline PhilaMOCA this October

Illuminati Hotties | photo by Kristy Benjamin | courtesy of the artist

Self-proclaimed “tenderpunk pioneer” illuminati hotties headline PhilaMOCA this October. Project of do-it-all L.A. musician Sarah Tudzin, the songs on 2018 debut LP Kiss Yr Frenemies display a range of dynamics and emotions. At times, the tracks take on quiet, lo-fi qualities, similar to Philly’s Cyberbully Mom Club. Elsewhere, driving and explosive riffs blindside the listener, like on track “Shape of My Hands.” Tudzin generated well-deserved buzz surrounding the release of the album following its May release on Tiny Engines. The opening of the album features the one-two punch of the quiet, prelude-esque title track leading into the driving, power-pop bop “(You’re Better) Than Ever.” Continue reading →

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Made in America adds Kendrick Lamar to the lineup

Kendrick Lamar | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

After appearances at the BB&T and Firefly earlier this summer, Kendrick Lamar is about to make his return to Philly, this time as the just-announced headliner of next month’s Made in America Festival. The festival announced its initial lineup back in June, and with names like Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and Janelle Monae at the top of the bill, the addition of another extremely high-profile headliner just a few weeks before showtime comes as a bit of a surprise — albeit a very welcome one. Made in America also announced last week that several additional acts, including Pusha T, 6ix9ine and Daniel Caesar, will also appear. Continue reading →

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Swearin’ shares a second single from Fall into the Sun, “Untitled (LA)”

Swearin
Swearin’ | photo by Alexander Rotondo | courtesy of the artist

2018 marks a new era for Swearin’, the beloved Philly band that parted ways a few years back before reuniting earlier this year. Not only will their forthcoming album Fall into the Sun be the band’s first release in five years, but it marks a growth in songwriting and a dive into introspective territory, tackling head-on the challenges and changes the band members have faced since they last made music together. Continue reading →