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The Week Ahead: Hardwork Movement, Ivy Sole, YallaPunk, Made In America and more

Hardwork Movement | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

We’re in the last week of summer, people. Even though the season officially continues for another three weeks, with school starting this week and Labor Day on the horizon, this is pretty much it — so let’s make it count. Here are 12 concerts you can see in and around Philadelphia this week, starting out tonight at Johnny Brenda’s with rapper Kuf Knotz’s classically-oriented new project, and wrapping up with the giant party on the Parkway that is Made In America.
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Watch Ivy Sole and Anyee Wright ride around in “Backwoods” music video

Ivy Sole | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | brightloud.com

Part time crooner, part time rapper Ivy Sole is back with new music today, the latest track from her just-announced debut studio album. “Backwoods” follows up the previously released “Rollercoaster” from June, both tracks set to appear on her debut album OVERGROWN, out September 18th on Les Fleurs Records. On the track, Ivy Sole teams up with local artist Anyee Wright who delivers a fire guest verse, both artists rapping over the smooth beat care of producers CRO and Corey Smith-West. Continue reading →

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Slum Village takes us back to hip-hop’s golden days at World Cafe Live, while Trio and Ivy Sole showcase its evolution

Slum Village | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | brightloud.com

It’s hard to overstate the influence Slum Village has had on the hip-hop world. They were peers of major names such as The Roots and A Tribe Called Quest, and founding member J. Dilla’s beats reshaped the sound of hip-hop in the 90s and thousands. Even though things have completely 360-ed for Slum Village with the passing of Dilla and another original member, Baatin, the Detroit hip-hop group have managed to keep their music alive and relevant. Now, the group consists of founding member T3 and his brother Young RJ. As we saw at a World Cafe Live set last week, the two honestly have not lost their touch with their smooth as butter flow over slick beats. Everything about the performance was clean and simple, which I appreciated a lot. People were really feelin’ what these two were putting down and it was nice to get a glimpse of how hip-hop used to be, a contrast to what is mainstream now. Continue reading →

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Take a ride with Ivy Sole in her new music video “Roller Coaster”

Ivy Sole
Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist

You can’t get more Philly than Ivy Sole’s new music video for her June release track “Rollercoaster.” Philly is a city filled with so much love for music and bikes, and Sole brought the heat, Meek Mill style. Throughout the video, you just see a bunch of people riding dirt bikes, tricked out cars, and four-wheelers in the streets. If you truly rep the 215, you already know.

“Rollercoaster” is more than a catchy, upbeat track though. Sole explains in a press statement that the song “is about the sweet spot in a love-hate relationship and the feeling of knowing that someone is less than ideal, but for whatever reason, they’re your weakness.” Continue reading →

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Ivy Sole will take you for a ride on “Rollercoaster,” the new single from her upcoming EP OVERGROWN

Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist
Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist

The last time we heard from Ivy Sole, was when she released her duo EPs West and East last year. Early this week, the Philly rapper released the lead track off of her upcoming EP OVERGROWN titled “Rollercoaster”, which is set to drop in the fall via her new Les Fleurs Records. Produced by CRO, Kam DeLa, and Ethan Tomas, the single has a nice bounce that will get you boppin’ in your seat. What gives you that rollercoaster effect is Ivy’s lyrical work. It dives deep into feelings of being mistreated and ignored — “You gon hate me til you love me again / You gon hate me til I’m at your doorstep / Hate me til I’m getting undressed / Love me when you hear that door lock” — and her vocals are so smooth on top of that laid-back melodic rhythm. 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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The High Key Portrait Series: Ivy Sole

Ivy Sole | photo by Josh Pelta Heller for WXPN

High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.

This past September, Ivy Sole played a set at Philly Music and Arts Fest at World Cafe Live that showcased best the talent and skill that she’s honed for engaging her audience. Closing that night with “Life,” a track that’s maybe her best-known to date, the artist modulated several times from theatrical gesticulations to rap verses, and slipped seamlessly into song for her choruses too, a swaying audience in tow.

In this interview, recorded earlier that evening, the 24-year-old artist describes her relationship with the performing arts, and how a background with spoken word poetry may have informed the arc of her artistic development, ultimately lending an element of effortless elegance to her stagecraft.

Having returned from show dates in Berlin and London, and with a new EP out recently, Ivy Sole looks toward a full-schedule though this year, with a focus on video production and a new full-length on the horizon too.  Continue reading →

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Cayetana, Ivy Sole and more to play a free fall gig at Villanova’s WXVU

Cayetana | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

There’s a gig happening at Villanova later this month that’s well worth a Thursday night trek out to the suburbs. The folks at the university’s radio station, WXVU, along with the Campus Activities Team, have put together a college show cooler than most college shows with a super-stacked lineup of Philly favorites.

The free gig features a real variety of Philly artists, from DIY four-piece Soft Idiot to psych-blues power trio Ill Fated Natives, singer / songwriter-meets-electropop outfit Aphra to rapper Ivy Sole. Stepping into the headlining slot are punk faves Cayetana, who self-released their incredible sophomore album New Kind of Normal earlier this year and recently tore up the stage at Philly Music Fest. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Ivy Sole

West Philadelphia’s Ivy Sole is having a busy year, and she’s pretty happy about it.

After a steady run making records flavored with dreamy hip-hop production, pointed rhymes and melodic vocal hooks, the Charlotte transplant’s two-part release this year — the East EP, which caught our ear this winter, and its summertime companion West — got a flurry of attention from the music sphere. Outlets like Paste and NPR Music were finding out what the folks at Vibe and The Source had been hip to for the better part of a year, and by summer, Ivy Sole was on tour on the west coast, opening sows for Rag’n’Bone Man.

Her appeal is pretty clear: the production, a soundtrack-y pastiche of soul and electropop tapestries, is instantly likable, and lyrically it’s some of the most honest music out there. Continue reading →