The lineup of the 2017 XPoNential Music Festival keeps growing, with today’s addition of Offa Rex — a new collaboration between indie rock troubadours The Decemberists and singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney — to WXPN’s July gathering on the Camden waterfront. The band, which releases its debut album The Queen of Hearts July 7th on Nonesuch Records, blends traditional English-Irish-Scotch songwriting with folk rock and psychedelia. Listen to their interview with NPR Music’s Bob Boilen below. Continue reading →
Olivia Chaney’s music can be described as removed from time. The English songwriter and balladeer distills the essence – the blood, sweat, and tears, the love, life, and death from the songs she performs. Continue reading →
Philly summertime jammers Cruisr are having a pretty good year between their recent Go For It single, their upcoming Wells Fargo Center show (!) opening for Imagine Dragons, and tonight’s hometown headlining slot at Johnny Brenda’s. Party on with the guys, as well as the equally-awesome Tutlie and Suburban Living, beginnning at 9 p.m. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
The Decemberists’ rich and earthy folk music always lingers with a sense of the past, but it was their recent offshoot project, Offa Rex, that quite literally time travelled back to the way olden days by solely performing traditional English folk songs with guest singer, Olivia Chaney. Now, the band is time traveling again — only this time, to the future.
With the release of their new single “Severed,” we hear the results of working with new producer, John Congelton (St. Vincent, Lana Del Ray, The Districts) for a unique mix of prog and garage rock sounds that morphs into a futuristic, space-y kind of folk breed. Listen to the single below. Continue reading →
Offa Rex is the new collaboration between The Decemberists and English folk singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney, and if the crowd was expecting to hear a Decemberists-heavy set geared towards fans of the beloved indie rock band they were in for a surprise. The set focused on Offa Rex’s debut album The Queen of Hearts, released July 14th on Nonesuch, but did include one cover of a Decemberists song, “Rox in the Box.” The billing that always seems to accompany Offa Rex is the parenthetical “(The Decemberists + Olivia Chaney),” but it is now clear that this is more informative than descriptive.
The collaboration was brought to life out of Decemberists’ Colin Meloy desire to create an Albion Band-backing-Shirley Collins-type project, and that’s exactly what was realized as the Decemberists act as the backing band for Chaney’s clear, haunting vocals. The Queen of Hearts reimagines classic folk songs found in the British Isles, and the role of 60’s folk hero troubadours appears to be a natural one for The Decemberists to step into, simply eliminating the “alternative” from their “alt-folk” classification.
I half expected them to walk on stage wearing period costumes, but there was no such luck. Continue reading →
Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.
We are having a shoegaze moment. I’m not entirely sure that the fuzzy, buzzy swirls of early-‘90s Britain speak to our times in any particular way, beyond their basic, perennial resonance with the heavy haze of a hot summer. But there seems to be as much life in the now-venerable style – along with its cuddlier, more scrutable cousin, dream-pop – as at any point in the last quarter-century. Continue reading →
Leading up to the July 14th release of their debut LP, Offa Rex have shared another song off of The Queen of Hearts called “Sheepcrook and Black Dog.” The collaborative outfit of singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney and The Decemberists will perform at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival on Friday, July 28th.
New group Offa Rex is the beautiful folky brainchild between indie outfit The Decemberists and singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney. The collaborative project, which is rooted in traditional British folk music, will debut their upcoming album Queen of Hearts on July 7th. But before then, the band has released a video for their take on the historic song, “Blackleg Miner.” Continue reading →
Our New Music Show returns after the Memorial Day holiday, and we’ve got some catching up to do. Of course, Dan Auerbach just released Waiting on A Song so we’ll dip into that album. Plus, we represent Philly with new music from The Districts, Waxahatchee (read below), and a super cool collaboration between trumpeter Matt Cappy and rapper Chill Moody. Also, another song from Offa Rex (The Decemberists and Olivia Chaney) with Colin Meloy on lead. And we’ll give you a preview of another tune from Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’s new album. Whew! We’ll hear all that and a lot more tonight starting at 8pm!