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XPN Fest Recap: Harmony Woods starts off Sunday with a sulblime set of sensitive rock

Harmony Woods | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

If Sofia Verbilla was nervous stepping outside of the zone of dimly lit basements to play a massive festival, it didn’t show. Harmony Woods was effortlessly able to recreate the intimate vibe of jamming at a house show. Pink-haired and cat-eyed, Verbilla expressed gratitude and humility to be playing on the River Stage. “My dad used to take me to this festival as a kid, so playing it is so unreal.” Continue reading →

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Harmony Woods opens the Spruce Street Harbor Park summer season with new songs, old faves, and covers of Mitski and Miley

Harmony Woods | photo by Sam Kesler for WXPN

Underneath neon lights and in front of a sunset on a Philadelphia skyline, local band Harmony Woods performed for the first of Spruce Street Harbor Park’s 2018 Waterfront Sessions. The air smelled of beer, local food trucks, and the miscellaneous scents of the Delaware River, and as Sofia Verbilla, front-woman for the four-piece band, noted: “I’ve seen so many dogs and babies in the last hour! This is why I do what I do!” An incredibly peaceful and joyous night of amazing music, it was a perfect way to start off the summer-long series, featuring all local Philly bands and free admission.

The Key’s own John Vettese warmed up the crowd for a couple hours with an amazing DJ set featuring tracks from Kississippi, Maggie Rogers, Caroline Rose, Lauryn Hill, Sylvan Esso, Japanese Breakfast, and an infuriatingly smooth transition from Hop Along to Daft Punk. He concluded with the almost-too-on-the-nose track “The Walk” by Oso Oso for Harmony Woods to walk onto.

Harmony Woods began with the opener of their 2017 album Nothing Special, “Vignette # 1” leading into “The Best Things”. Their sound was surprisingly clear for an outdoor venue, the rough rhythm guitar of Sofia Verbilla punctuated by the sharper lead guitar provided by Chance Halter, smooth bass from Hank Byerly, and dynamic drums by David Juro. Sofia’s vocals were stellar as well, standing out among the instrumentation, particularly on their hit single “Renovations,” which rises from hold-your-breath serene to breathtakingly anthemic within three minutes. Their set also featured standout tracks “Jenkintown-Wyncote” and “Negro y Azul” with sparkling guitar riffs perfect to match the outdoor lighting and transportive descriptions of romance. Continue reading →

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The Skeleton Key: June is jumping with Kids of the Black Hole film series, Harmony Woods on the river, theremins in Laurel Hill cemetery, and Philly Still F’n Shreds fest

Out of the Blue screens at International House’s Kids of the Black Hole series this month

I am an unapologetic cheerleader for summer. There’s water ice, hang outs down the shore, you can ride your bike everywhere, and most importantly there are outside shows! I mean, say what you will about the beauty of West Philly in winter – and it really is quite nice, don’t get me wrong – but given the choice between sledding down the rock-strewn hills of Clark Park on a ripped pizza box I just found in a trash or sitting around and watching a bunch of bands play while eating ice cream during the annual music festival there, I know where I’ll be. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Harmony Woods, Kendrick Lamar, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, The Wonder Years and more

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar in the “Alright” video | still from video

Between the ridiculous rain and the Ticketfly “cyber incident” shutdown, it’s been a weird week to be a concertgoing Philadelphian. Don’t let that stop you from getting out and getting to the gig, though. Here are 22 concerts you can see in and around town in the next week, from indie folk true believers The Decemberists to reigning rap king Kendrick Lamar and his Top Dawg Entertainment showcase tour. Continue reading →

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Harmony Woods, Joshua Howard, Killiam Shakespeare and Ivy Sole will play Spruce Street Harbor Park Waterfront Sessions in June

Harmony Woods | still from video
Harmony Woods | still from video

Summer calls for live music outdoors, and lucky for us, Spruce Street Harbor Park delivers. The popular park along the Delaware River draws crowds all season long, but perhaps one of its best kept secrets is the Waterfront Sessions series, which showcases performances by local musicians every Thursday night throughout the summer. Better yet, all shows are free. Continue reading →

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XPNFest adds artists incl. Darlingside, Blind Boys of Alabama, Harmony Woods, &More

clockwise from left: Darlingside | photo by Ellen Miller for WXPN // Blind Boys of Alabama | photo by Jim Herrington | courtesy of the artist // Harmony Woods | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN // &More | photo by Dejanaya Spicer | courtesy of the artist

These are exciting times, folks. As if this year’s XPoNential Music Festival lineup wasn’t already stacked enough, today we’re thrilled to announce several more artists that will be joining us this summer on the Camden Waterfront. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Sessions V shows folk’s many faces with Julie Byrne, Sammus, Harmony Woods, and more

Julie Byrne | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Though the inherent weary restlessness of folk music can never truly be contained, local folk organization, Folkadelphia, has a home here at WXPN on the air and at The Key through Fred Knittel’s studio sessions. This past year hosted a particularly gem-filled handful of folk discoveries, which is documented in the fifth installment of the Folkadelphia Sessions compilation featured below. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Kississippi, Field Medic, and Harmony Woods to hit the Cages this February

Kississippi | photo by Megan Thompson | courtesy of the artist

Hold whatever you’re doing, friends, because there is one mighty fine gig coming up that you must know about. Taking place at Everybody Hits on February 15th, this beautiful bill boasts Kississippi, Field Medic, and Harmony Woods. So yes, just go and knock my hat off, why don’tcha. Continue reading →

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Lame-O Records announces third annual Rock Residency featuring Cherry, Harmony Woods, Slaughter Beach, Dog and lots more

Cherry | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Lame-O Records‘ annual Rock Residency benefit series at Boot & Saddle returns for its third year next month, and WOW would you look at that lineup. A Lame-O event never disappoints, but this year they’ve put together an exceptionally stacked roster of labelmates and friends to take over Boot & Saddle every Thursday in January. And it’s all for a good cause — the proceeds from each show will benefit several local charity organizations. Continue reading →

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Harmony Woods debuts new song “Best Laid Plans II” live at the batting cages

Harmony Woods | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Chances are you haven’t gotten tired of Nothing Special, the debut album from Philadelphia’s Harmony Woods, quite yet — there’s a reason why it was included in The Key’s Top 15 Albums of 2017. Still, it’s always nice to hear new music from our favorite artists, and this weekend Harmony Woods brought us just that, sharing “Best Laid Plans II” during their set at the Philly Gets Alternative showcase at Everybody Hits on Sunday. Continue reading →